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The Environment of Thankfulness
by Alex M Lindsay
Reference: Luke 6:27-36

Our Scripture reading doesn't use the word "thankful / thankfulness". Rather it mentions those who are "unthankful / ungrateful." They are also described as "evil / wicked." It is implied that these people are God's enemies as well as the enemies of those who are godly. God is kind and merciful to them. We should be too! II Timothy 3:1-5 describes the "unthankful / ungrateful" as also "unholy." In this passage we are told to "turn away / stay away" from them - "avoid them." Notice that unthankfulness is used to describe the worst people. It is not a small thing if a person is ungrateful. It is associated with everything that God hates. See Romans 1:18-24 (note vs. 21).

So, how do we be kind and merciful and at the same time avoid and turn away from such people? Perhaps Psalm 1:1-3 would help. We are to avoid walking in the counsel of the ungodly. We are to avoid standing in the pathway of sinners, we are to not sit in the seat of the scornful (mockers). That is, we do not join them or endorse what they are doing. On the other hand, we are to be planted in the good soil of God's will and be well watered by His Word. This will make us fruitful - more like the character of the Lord (I Peter 1:13-16; Ephesians 5:1-21). We will also be fruitful in the sense of being a good influence on others, drawing them away from worldliness and leading them to follow Christ (Matthew 5:13-16; Philippians 2:14-16; I Corinthians 9:19-23).

Thankfulness is the environment of the godly:

  • Psalm 100
  • Ephesians 1:15-16; 5:1-4, 18-21
  • Colossians 2:6-7; 3:12-17
  • I Thessalonians 1:1-3; 5:18
  • Philippians 1:2-4; 4:4-8
    • The English word "thankful" comes from the word "thinkful" (thoughtful). Consider how the ungodly think (or don't think). See Psalm 10:2-7 (especially vs. 4). Translations of Psalm 10:4 differ. They say that God is not in all his thoughts or in none of his thoughts; that there is no room for God in his thoughts; that he actually thinks "there is no God."
See also Genesis 6:5; Psalm 9:17; 14:1-3; Romans 3:9-18.

Some words that are associated with thankfulness: Know / Believe, joy / gladness, holiness, godliness, cleanness, love, gentleness, kindness, patience, humility, meekness, mercy, forgiveness, prayer, peace, think, meditate, remember, worship (i.e. to glorify / bless the Lord; to experience the fulness of the Spirit / the presence of God).
Originally delivered November 19, 2017
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