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Devotional - week of September 3, 2000


IN ALL THINGS GIVE THANKS

First Thessalonians 5:18 is a favorite with many. We quote “In all things give thanks” mostly in times of suffering.

It is commonly known that the command “give thanks” is in a tense that means “keep on giving thanks.” But what does the command mean?

Does this mean that in spite of our painful circumstances we are to thank God for the “good” things in our lives? Many have interpreted the command in that manner.

The Bible provides another interpretation of the meaning of the command. In Ephesians 5:18 the Scriptures command us to be filled with the Spirit. There follows in verses 19-21 statements indicating the results of being filled with the Spirit. Verse 20 reads as follows:

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ …

A result of being filled with the Holy Spirit is always thanking God for all things-whether they appear to be “good” or “bad”.

When thanking God for all things becomes a lifestyle, a stronger faith in God and a better understanding of God builds in us. And there are times when even our circumstances change.

The shortest route to giving thanks always for all things is through being filled with the Holy Spirit. And the route to being filled is obedience to the five commands for living by grace in Romans 6:11-13.

Why not try the “five command” approach?