of the greatest of all sins is the sin of INGRATITUDE! Although
Americans observe Thanksgiving, millions still do not know what it
means to be thankful. You need to know how, when, and to WHOM, to be
thankful—no matter what country you live in.
and listen. You'll see multitudes
of unhappy people
griping about nearly everything.
This is especially true in the two most prosperous countries on earth — the United States and Britain.
peoples combined have more than half of all the world's good things.
Yet few find satisfaction in them. Why? Because of ingratitude.
People are not happy today because they are not thankful.
Bible foretold that in the last days men would be unthankful. "This
know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men
shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful ..." (II Timothy
3:1-2). Human nature is unthankful.
You were born with a selfish
nature —full of greed. Notice what God says about your nature. "Ye
lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye
fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive
not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your
lusts" (James 4:2-3).
Notice! Human nature is selfish — grasping, snatching, devouring for self. With this nature — it's hard to be thankful!
be thankful we must stop, look at, and appreciate what we have. But
instead of appreciation, human nature constantly lusts for more. A mind
filled with lust and desire to get is virtually incapable of gratitude.
The combined sins of lust, greed and ingratitude are major factors bringing God's punishments on our peoples.
says, "Because thou servedest not the Eternal thy God with joyful-ness,
and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore
shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Eternal shall send against
thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all
things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck until he have
destroyed thee" (Deut. 28: 47-48).
Are the peoples of Britain
and America serving God with joyfulness and gladness of heart? We are
blessed with an abundance of all things. But because of our ingratitude
— our griping, grumbling, complaining ways — God will send us into
captivity minus our tremendous blessings.
God despises this sin of ingratitude!
world's education has jumped the tracks. Today's education cannot cope
with the immense problems of the world. Why such a lack in essential
knowledge about life, health, eternity?
It all started long ago.
God says of the philosophers and educators: "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as
NEITHER WERE THANKFUL; but became
vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they he-came fools"
Notice it! They did not glorify
God. They were not thankful. And what was the result? They became vain
in their imaginations — minds.
It takes humility to be thankful.
Human nature, with its greed, selfishness, vanity cannot humble itself
in thanksgiving to God. And so exalting themselves, ancient
philosophers and educators left the truth of God — changed it to a lie.
They worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator "who is
blessed for ever more. Amen."
How Many Are Thankful Today?
Jesus healed many in His day. But how many ever thanked Him?
His way to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through a certain village. Ten
lepers met Him there. Standing afar off they cried to Him, "Jesus,
Master, have mercy on us.
"And when He saw them, He said unto
them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that,
as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he
was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell
down on his face at His [Jesus'] feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a
"And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten
cleansed but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to
give glory to God save this stranger" (Luke 17:11-18).
One in ten. That's the ratio! Maybe not that much!
Do one in ten give thanks to God today? How many people take time to thank God for His great blessings and benefits ?
prayer requests for healing come to our Pasadena offices. Hundreds of
anointed handkerchiefs are sent out each month. Many people are
anointed personally by God's ministers.
Many are healed. But they "forget" to write in and mention it. Some remember — a year later.
what of the hundreds who never write in at all ? We are sure that far
less than ten percent ever write to acknowledge a healing. And how many
ever bother to give God thanks in the privacy of their own homes?
Have you received healings? Did you thank God?
God Commands Thanksgivings
into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: BE
THANKFUL UNTO HIM, and bless His name" (Psalm 100:4).
God commands us to be thankful and to bless His name. Why?
wants to develop holy righteous, perfect character in those who have
voluntarily yielded their lives to Him. God knows human nature. He
knows it is filled with vanity, selfishness, lust and greed. He knows
that of itself human nature is not thankful.
Therefore — to help us overcome this selfish nature — God has commanded that we be thankful.
gets our minds off self — off greed, lust, vanity. Thankfulness
acknowledges God's hand in our lives. We admit we've had help. We did
not do it all ourselves.
It is very difficult for people to say
"Thank you." For when thanks is given it is akin to being indebted — a
debt which many times cannot be repaid. It's hard for human nature to
God tells Christians, "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thes. 5:18).
is the formula for happiness. God expects us to give thanks "in
everything." In other words, God expects us to find something good in
every situation. God wants us to focus on our blessings — not dwell on
Notice Ephesians 5:20: "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Do you give thanks in everything?
Do you give thanks always for all things ?
many take time to give thanks for the Bible? Where would we be without
the Holy Word of God — God's revelation to man of essential knowledge?
God has preserved His Word through ages of persecution and diabolical
schemes to destroy it. In these last days we are all blessed that a
Bible can be obtained for a few pennies. An hour's wages can purchase a
Bible. Many are distributed free! Are you thankful for that?
Do you give thanks for your home? Your children? Your mate? Do you give thanks for good health?
"But," you say, "I don't have perfect health."
you heard the saying, "I complained about flat feet until I saw a man
who didn't have feet!" No one today has absolutely perfect health. But
in every case, it could be worse.
Do yon give thanks for the
food you eat? God's Word shows we should. Jesus did. He gave thanks for
what He ate — asking God to bless it.
God commands us to give thanks !
people ask, "What does God want us to do?" God's will is expressed very
plainly. Part of that will for Christians is to give thanks. It
develops humility. Most of us think we are sufficient unto ourselves.
Giving thanks shows we aren't.
Duty of the Priests
is important. Because King David knew this better than most, he
appointed "certain of the Levites to minister before the Ark of the
Eternal, and to record, and to thank and praise the Eternal God of
Israel" (I Chron. 16:4).
Imagine! Here were men whose duty was "to thank and praise" God.
morning thanks was to be given by the Levites. In I Chronicles 23:
28-30 the duties of the Levites are outlined. They included the
purifying of all holy things, work and service of the house of God,
"and to stand every morning to thank and praise the Eternal, and
likewise at even."
Twice a day thanks was given formally.
David knew ingratitude was one of the greatest sins a nation could fall
into. He took every precaution to prevent it — including appointing men
to offer special thanks to God.
God Wants a Sacrifice
Almighty was not really pleased with the sacrifices of the Old
Testament. Hearing the Word of the Eternal and doing it meant more to
God than all the burnt sacrifices, peace offerings, oblations, and
But one sacrifice is pleasing to God.
"I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Eternal" (Psalms 116:17).
"Offer unto God thanksgiving: and pay thy vows unto the most high" (Psalms 50:14).
God is pleased with the sacrifice of thanksgiving. God commands us to offer that sacrifice.
knows it goes against the grain of human nature to say "Thanks." Have
you ever noticed how people avoid those two words—"Thank you"? A
sincere "Thank you" shows the basic character and attitude of a man. It
shows him to be humble, meek, thoughtful.
Every day God wants
you to give thanks to Him for your life, food, and multitudes of other
blessings. Many have a hard time praying. They would not — if they
would take time to count their blessings and thank God. You should be
thankful to be able to give thanks!
Not only does God want us to
thank Him but also to thank others. Members of a family need to
practice this. A simple "thank you" would promote peace, tranquility,
and love in a family. When members are considerate, thoughtful, and
observant of the work, service, and help of others, it encourages and
inspires the entire family. Try it!
Example of Great Men
Great men of God all gave thanks. These men were not weaklings or cowards. They were real "he-men."
gave thanks. "I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers,
who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now
what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the
king's matter" (Dan. 2:23). Daniel had just finished receiving the
interpretation of the king's dream. No magician or wise man of the
kingdom could do it. Did he accept all the credit himself? No! He
acknowledged God. He thanked God. He showed humility, meekness, faith.
knew the importance of thanksgiving in prayer. A decree was made by
Darius the king that said anyone making a petition to any god or man
for thirty days other than to the king would be cast into a den of
lions. Daniel knew the writing was signed. Yet "he kneeled upon his
knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as
he did aforetime" (Daniel 6:10).
Why thanks? Men were plotting against him! His life was in danger!
Yet in the face of these things Daniel still gave thanks. He was not so concerned about self that he forgot God's goodness.
and I forget. When troubles come or trials arise we forget God's
benefits. The immediate response is to protect self — get for self —
ask for self. Rut true Godly, courageous character will take
time and give thanks.
Paul gave thanks. The phrase "I thank my God" appears time and again in Paul's epistles.
gave thanks. He thanked God for His daily food. He started prayer with
thanksgiving. In fact, most prayers recorded in the Bible start with
The Psalms are filled with thanksgiving to God.
Time and again you run across this statement, "O give thanks unto the
Eternal, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever." In Psalm 136
the Bible tells us to give thanks to God for His wonders, works and
Why aren't people happy? Simply because they aren't thankful.
In the United States a day has been set aside for thanksgiving. But how many actually give thanks?
people are too busy, too concerned with self to thank God. The day is
filled with football games, drinking, gluttony. Thousands take to the
roads in a mad scramble to "have a good time." The entire day is filled
with the emphasis on self-gratification.
At some time in the
24-hour period most of our brethren manage to say "grace" over a meal.
But how many express heartfelt thanks to Almighty God?
different countries have days set aside in the fall for thanksgiving.
In England it is Harvest Home Day. Japan has a harvest festival day.
even if people really gave thanks to God on the day their nation sets
aside — it would be a small token of what they really should do. God
commands us to give thanks in everything, EVERY DAY! — that's God's
It is all right to observe a national custom of
thanksgiving. But do it Christ's way — not in rioting, drunkenness,
gluttony. True Christians should be thankful — not only on Thanksgiving
or Harvest Home Day — hut every day.
Be Thankful for Christ's Sacrifice
all things Christians have to be thankful for, the most precious is the
sacrifice of Christ. Through His blood we may have forgiveness of sins.
God will overlook — pass over — our sins. Jesus Christ has taken your
sins on Himself. He is the propitiation for sins — sent into the world
to take the sins of the whole world on Himself. Those who truly repent
of their ways and their thoughts, and turn to the living Jesus Christ
may have forgiveness through His blood.
How precious is this sacrifice ?
It is hard to describe. But a look into Old Testament times may give you some idea.
wake up in your dwelling to hear a tumult outside. Quickly you throw on
a garment and run out to see what the trouble is. Someone tells you a
woman has been caught — taken in the act of adultery. Crowds gather,
You run hurriedly along to witness the death penalty. For adultery was
by death through stoning. All took
part. You knew you had to witness it.
You wonder who it is —
perhaps someone you know. You hear the shrieks and screams of a woman.
As you draw near to the brow of a hill, the crowd pressing closely
against you, you peer down and see the victim. She is being blindfolded
and led to the edge of a high platform as she pleads for mercy.
never do it again," she says. "Please forgive me — it was a moment of
weakness — I didn't mean to do it! Please! Somebody help me!"
knew there could be no help. For the death penalty must be executed.
Nothing could stop the death penalty from being enforced. There was no
repentance — no chance to change — no forgiveness of sins under the Old
So you stand and watch as the accuser pushes her over the
edge. A piercing scream and she falls in a crumpled heap. Then the
witnesses drop a huge rock on her chest, crushing the upper portions of
her body. Blood splatters. Then the crowd joins in. Rocks from all
directions plummet down at the helpless victim. Screams yet pierce the
air. Soon the screams are crushed to low moans. And finally silence!
Such was the administration of death!
But wait! The scene shifts.
Now the woman is standing in front of Jesus Christ in the midst of the temple. Pharisees are there accusing.
"Now Moses in the Law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?" They said this tempting Jesus.
He stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, Jesus said,
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
He stooped down again and wrote on the ground.
Convicted, the Pharisees filed out one by one.
Jesus stood up only the woman was standing in front of Him. He said,
"Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?"
"She said, 'No man, Lord!' "
"And Jesus said unto her, 'neither DO / condemn THEE: go, and sin no more'" (John 8:1-11).
Those words! Those wonderful words: "'Neither do I condemn thee."
can't buy them. Works can't earn them. They can't be borrowed or
stolen. They are a manifestation of God's grace. The righteous One
without sin who could cast the first stone offers His life to pay
for your sin!
These words of forgiveness have come to you when
you needed them most. You — like the woman — were condemned to death —
eternal death — through sin! "For all have sinned and come short of the
glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). And the wages of sin is death.
God spared your life through His Son, Jesus Christ.
you were strapped to a tree facing an angry crowd with rocks in their
hands, God's grace would mean so much more to you I Other things
wouldn't mean so much. Everything else would take
You would give thanks to God for His grace. You would literally "give thanks always for all things."
Why don't you do it now?
by David Antion, from the August 1967 Good News Magazine