Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Wholeheartedly Giving Thanks to God

by R.T. Kendall

I have so much for which to be thankful. Do you? Do you show Him how thankful you are for what He has done? How could you best build in a daily opportunity to thank the Lord?

You may say, "He knows I'm thankful. I don't have to tell Him every day." Please tell Him. Do you not appreciate it yourself when people thank you for something?

Even though God can see your heart whereas people cannot, you need to tell Him. God also knows what things you need before you ask Him (Matt. 6:8), but He still wants you to tell Him, and when you pray that is what you should do.

We have a curious way of asking the Lord for what we need (even though He knows the need). We should also remember to thank Him (even though He may well know we are thankful).

How can we be so sure we are thankful if we do not go through the trouble of remembering to say thank you to the One who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3)?

We all know people who annoy us by their lack of gratitude and appreciation. It is surely true that those who remember to say "thank you" are more thankful than the ones who forget to say "thank you." God loves to hear us say "thank You" to Him and to each other. I believe that there are three principles behind thankfulness: God loves gratitude; God hates ingratitude; and gratitude must be taught.

A good parent will teach his or her child to be thankful, to show thankfulness, and to express it. God, the perfect parent, has taught this in His Word. With great care and patience He taught the children of Israel to be thankful. He was grieved when they were unthankful. Jesus taught the same thing, as did the apostle Paul.

The biblical doctrine of sanctification is to be seen as the doctrine of gratitude. Sanctification is the process by which we are made holy. It is becoming more and more like Jesus. But why be sanctified? Answer: to show we are thankful. This is why the reformed doctrine of sanctification has been called, literally, the doctrine of gratitude.

You can read more and purchase R.T. Kendall's book, Just Say Thanks!, which this article is derived from, by clicking here.

R.T. Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England, for 25 years. Born in Ashland, Ky., he was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Oxford University. He is well known internationally as a speaker and teacher. He is the author of more than 40 books, including The Power of Humility, The Word and the Spirit, The Sensitivity of the Spirit, The Anointing, Just Say Thanks! and Total Forgiveness.

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Jentezen Franklin encourages church leaders to encourage their flocks to vote their values.

    Why We Must Count the Cost—and Vote

    There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country, and it is full of manipulation, lies, ...

  • Graveyard

    An Autopsy of a Deceased Pastor

    There are eight common patterns to look for.

  • Why did you choose the church you attend?

    7 Key Reasons People Choose a Church

    The real issue is not the intrigue of this research; it is what you and your church will do about ...

  • Many of these issues are self-inflicted.

    10 Poisons That Will Kill Any Church

    Here is why the churches that die from them do so by their own hand.

  • The Key to True Power

    The Key to True Power

    Jesus overturned every worldly idea about power when He introduced the concept of servant leadership.

  • Have you ever had a cringe moment during your church announcements?

    The 7 Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

    Sometimes they just miss the mark, albeit unintentionally.

  • Some of these reasons for leaving the church are simply not plausible.

    7 Reasons People Leave Their Church During Crisis Times

    Some of the excuses are pretty extreme and, quite frankly, lazy.

  • Do yourself and her a favor. Take the target off your pastor's wife's back.

    Why Pastors' Wives Have a Target on Their Back

    Here are three instances of what we are doing to the wives of God's servants sent to ...

  • The heart of a leader is more important than any other characteristic.

    5 Qualities to Seek in the Heart of a Leader

    The hope here is that you would reflect on your own leadership and consider your own heart as a ...

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders