Andrew Fountain - The Power of Thankfulness

Sermon notes - The Power of Thankfulness

  • Does anyone know where & when the first Canadian Thanksgiving was held?

Martin Frobisher’s ship stuck in ice

Martin Frobisher's ship stuck in ice

  • Martin Frobisher arrived in Newfoundland in 1576 after a very difficult voyage!
    • He found a small Inuit town —can you guess what it looked like?

Igloo Village at Frobisher’s arrival

Igloo Village at Frobisher's arrival

  • This is the sketch that one of his men made!
    • If he celebrated the first Canadian thanksgiving here, how much more do we have to be thankful for!
  • The best remedy for depression
    • it is very hard to be depressed and thankful at the same time—give it a try!
  • Not long ago I was really frustrated with how the day was going
    • Everthing was twice as difficult as it should be
    • People were annoying
      • Haw a day like that
    • But I was thinking about this sermon
    • made up a thankfulness song

Review of Colossians from last week:

Tree and Roots

Tree and Roots

Image source: pixabay

  • The first half is the roots
    • Comes together in the trunch
    • and the second half spreads out and brings fruit


Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord,

so walk in him, rooted and built up in him

and established in the faith (2:6–7)

…bearing fruit and growing (1:6)

Quick overview

From the bottom up:

4:2–18 Among outsiders

3:18–4:1 In our extented family

3:8–17 Among Christian Community

2:20–3:7 Inner Spiritual life

2:8–19 Core of the Truth: Union with Jesus

1:24–2:7 How this Truth comes to Us

1:9b-23 Jesus & the Big Picture

1:1–9a This Truth Changes Us

Thankfulness in in Colossians: 7 places

Thankfulness in Colossians

Thankfulness in Colossians

Part 1 (1:3)

  1. We give thanks to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
        always praying concerning you,
  2. having heard
        of your faith in Christ Jesus,
        and of the love which you have towards all the saints,
        because of the hope laid up for you in heaven,.
  • Thankfulness for what God is doing by changing lives and pouring out his love and blessing on people

Part 2 (1:12)

  1. and asking
        that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will
        in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
  2. so as to walk worthy of the Lord,
        in all ways to please him,
        in all good work bearing fruit and increasing in the knowledge of God,
  3.     in all power being empowered, through his glorious strength,
        in all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father
  4. who has made you sufficient to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light,
  5.     who has rescued us from the dominion of darkness
        and transferred us into the kingdom of his Son, the dearly loved one,
  6. in whom we have redemption, the freeing from sins.
  • v.11 Part of Paul’s prayer for them: Thankfulness is a part of our character that pleases God (our “walk”)
    • Here it is thanks for saving us (v.12–14)

Part 3 (2:7)

  1. that their hearts may be encouraged,
        being knit together in love,
        and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding,
        to the knowledge of the mystery of God, [that is]
  2.         Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden.
  3. Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
  4.     rooted and built up in him and established in the faith,
        just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
  • Once again it is part of our “walk” —our character as a person is full of thankfulness
    • Here it is for Jesus Christ himself, and the way he is united to us

Part 6 (3:15,16,17)

  1. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
        for which purpose you were chosen in one body;
        and be thankful [to God].
  2. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly:
        in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another
        in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thanks in your hearts to the Lord.
  3. And whatever you do in word or deed,
        do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
        giving thanks to God the Father through him.
  • Occurs three times in these verses
    1. Our hearts (a continual spirit of thankfulness)
      • Then it spills out to other peole...
    2. The way we talk to each other
      • Then the whole way we live our lives
    3. Doing whatever we do in a spirit of thankfulness

Part 8 (4:2)

  1. In prayer continue steadfastly, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
  2.     praying at the same time also for us,
            that God would open to us a door for the word,
            to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,
  3.     that I may reveal it, as I ought to speak.
  • Part of our warfare for the spread of the gospel!
    • Seems surprising here!
    • God seems to like thankful prayers much more than complaining ones!

Why do you think God gets so upset about unthankfulness and so pleased with thankfulness?

  • Has anyone ever been in a situation where you have done a lot for someone, and they just don’t thank you at all?
    • Did this ever happen to Jesus? (9 were thankful and 1 was not?)
  • Israelites in the Wilderness were constantly complaining, grumbling and unthankful
    • Even when God gave them Mana, they wanted the food of Egypt
  • An interesting passage in Romans:

Rom 1:20–25

  1. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

  1. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
  2. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
  3. and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
  4. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
  5. because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
  • Unthankfulnss is on a par with all the other sins, in fact it is at the begining, suggesting that it leads to the others.
  • But the opposite is true: being thankful is the start of the road to becoming a Christian
    • For myself: acknowledged God’s goodness in my life…

Giving thanks for food

Grace - 1918 photo by Enstrom

Grace - 1918 photo by Enstrom

Image source: Eric Enstrom

  • In the tiny town of Bovey, Minn., four years into World War I, an old man peddling foot scrapers knocked on Eric Enstrom’s door.
    • Eric was 43, a Swedish immigrant who had bought land, opened a photography studio and raised his kids to speak perfect English. He fed the peddler and studied him. There was something striking about the man, a gentle strength in his deep wrinkles and straggly beard.
    • Sitting before a loaf of bread and a bowl of porridge, the peddler closed his eyes and dropped his head into his folded hands. Eric flashed his bulb and pressed his accordion-like bellows camera.
    • “Grace” was born, the picture that has been hung in kitchens and living rooms across the world, a call to gratitude, a symbol of faith that is both sturdy and hushed.
    • Apparently in 2002, an act of the Minnesota State Legislature established it as the state photograph
  • Is it legalism?
    • what would determine if it were legalism or not?
      • Does it have protein or not?
    • If you’re thankful then it’s not legalism!
    • motivation: thankfulness or duty
  • I thought I would find all the references. I was blown away:
Matt 14:19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
Matt 15:36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
Matt 26:26 & 27 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,
Mark 6:41 He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.
Mark 8:7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them.
Mark 14:22 & 23 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.
Luke 22:17 & 19 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves.
For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Luke 24:30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.
John 6:11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.
John 6:23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
Acts 27:35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.
Rom 14:6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.
1Cor 10:30 & 31 If I partake [of meat] with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1Cor 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
1Tim 4:3 & 4 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
  • I was quite impresses by the number of references, particularly with Jesus
    • Why do you think there are so many references to giving thanks for food compared with other things?
  • What do you think about giving thanks in a Restaurant?
    • Only time I would not is when I’m with people who might think I’m trying to show off how “holy” I am
    • Question on Yahoo about giving thanks in a restaurant (drawing attention to yourself)
  • Can anyone think of any other verses about thankfulness? (I’ve given you all mine except for one)

  • Thankfulness “Unlocks” God’s blessings and Victory
    • although not really “locked”
  • Jehoshaphat: 2 Chronicles 20 —He’s been a good king in terms of putting away idols, but now they are being attacked!

2 Chronicles 20

  1. And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
  2. And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.

What are you thankful for?…

Updated on 2016-10-02 by Andrew Fountain