1 Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I. THE DUTY ENJOINED. Give thanks —
1. With the soul (Psalm 103:1, 2).
(1) With the understanding, which weights the value of the benefit conferred.
(2) With the memory, which stores up the remembrance of benefits received.
(3) With the affections, by which benefits are warmly embraced.
2. With the voice: otherwise thanks will be buried. How many aids and witnesses did David summon to assist him in this duty; the mountains to leap, the floods to make a noise, etc. Nature and art have found out many helps and signs — bells, musical instruments, feasting, etc. Yet these are but poor and senseless sacrifices performed by unreasoning deputies, if thanks have no more significant expression; and cheer of the countenance, bodily gestures, dancing, are dumb shows. But by speech one man's heart conveys to another the cheery conceptions and passions of the soul, and so multiplies praise and sets on others to bless God with him.
3. With obedience, which God prefers to all our sacrifices. He that in the way of thankfulness bows and performs the mortification of one sin, the addition of one duty, pleases God better than Solomon with all his beeves and sheep. The life of thankfulness consists in the lives of the thankful; otherwise it is but as one who should sing a good song with his voice and play a bad one with his instrument.
II. THE EXTENT OF THE MATTER.
1. God will be praised in all His creatures whereof we have the sight or the use; for every one of us have no less benefit by the sun and air, than if we saw or breathed alone.
2. In all the works of His provident administration — public blessings — our country's good.
3. In all personal favours. Every man that sees another stricken and himself spared is to keep passover for himself.
4. In all crosses, counting it an honour to suffer for Christ's sake.
5. In all gifts: temporal or spiritual, and, above all, for Him who is all in all.
6. In all times and places.
III. THE SUPREME MOTIVE. "This is the will of God." A sufficient answer to the foolish question "What addition shall I make to His honour who is self-sufficient?" God's will has binding authority enough, but the winning word is added, "In Christ." "I have so loved you as to give My Son; the return I expect and will is your thanks." An ingenuous child desires to know only what his father loves, and a grateful courtier only the pleasure of his sovereign.
Parallel VersesKJV: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.