Thanksgiving and Praise (Wk 5 – Worship Matters)
Jason White






Giving thanks is at the very heart of what it means to worship. It’s impossible to worship without a spirit of thanksgiving. To worship means to live a lifestyle of thanksgiving in all areas of your life.

Colossians 3:15-17…15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Ephesians 5:18-21…18 …be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.





Sermon Audio Transcript
Okay, so as we begin this morning without looking at your neighbor, and without giving them an elbow, raise your hand if you have someone in your life who is a complainer don't look don't look at your neighbor. As tempting as it may be, don't throw any elbows, okay? We probably all have one of those in our lives, someone who is a complainer, that's all that they do about things is complain and grumble and just seem to be so negative all the time. And it can be really hard to be around people like that. Sometimes I was around someone a while back, who was kind of like that, and they just seem to complain about everything. And when I say everything, I mean, everything. It was one of those conversations, that wasn't a very long conversation. And we seem to cover pretty much everything there was to complain about I mean, this person complained about the weather, they complained about the government and politicians and the economy and what's going on in our school system and what's going on in our churches, and on and on and on, and just one short conversation and, and that can be hard to listen to someone that just fills files complaint after complaint, after complaint. But then I've also got to admit that maybe, just maybe some of the times, it's me, who's the complainer that other people are complaining about right, I'm the one can that can get a little bit negative every now and then in grumble about the things that are going on. And the maybe you can relate to that and find that to be true of you as well. Man, the thing is, is when that complaining and that grumbling kind of characterizes our lives. I mean, let's be honest, it is hard to experience peace in our lives, when we're grumbling. And we're complaining about everything, right? I mean, you get angry, I get angry, whenever I'm that way, I get anxious, I get stressed, I get down in the dumps. I get depressed in that way. And then what happens is because I begin to feel bad during those times, then I start complaining about how I'm feeling. But it was the complaining in the first place that's causing the way that I'm feeling. I mean, it's just this endless cycle that just grows and grows. But the thing that I want you to see this morning, is that above and beyond the way that kind of thing impacts our lives and others around us in a negative way. What I want you to really see, as we close out this worship matters series today is that it is impossible to truly worship God and be a complainer at the same time. You can't be complaining and grumbling and be worshiping God. At the same time, you can't be someone who doesn't give thanks. And I think one of the places that we see that in Scripture is in the letter that Paul wrote to the church at Rome, the very opening chapter, Paul is writing to them. And he's kind of just beginning to talk about the things that are wrong with humanity, the things that are wrong with our society in our world because of sin. And it's a fallen state, and it's messed up all of our lives. And he's, of course writing to tell them about the good news, how Jesus came to fix what was broken with humanity and what's gone on in our world. But as you and I know, you have to start with the bad news, people got to understand the bad news and how bad it really is to understand the good news and how good the good news really is. And in his opening discussion about what is wrong with humanity, here is what Paul says in Romans 121. For although they knew God, so although they knew God, they had a general understanding of His presence and who he wasn't it was around, they neither glorified him. What does it mean to glorify, to worship? They didn't worship God, but then watch, they weren't worshipping Him as their Lord and Creator, but he puts this in here, nor did they give thanks to Him. And so we see that these two things in one Senate's are kind of closely related to each other. It's impossible to worship God and not give thanks to Him. So when the apostle Paul wrote these things to the church, and he's trying to unpack the gospel to them and how sin has impacted the world, and Jesus came to fix those things, and you can receive His forgiveness that He purchased for you on the cross through faith and be justified and made righteous in him. Then Paul then began to talk about how that impacts each and every single one of their lives in our lives, as a result of receiving Christ into our lives, and so on a lot of the other letters that he wrote, and even this letter really, he began to talk about how the Lord who now dwells in us, as a result of putting our faith and trust in Him for salvation will lead us to worship Him by giving thanks to him. And we see this in a lot of Paul's writings. But there are two in particular, that are very similar to each other. And where this really comes out pretty strongly. And so I want us to just kind of look at both of those this morning and unpack what Paul says, in each one. The first one comes from Colossians chapter three, this is Paul's letter to the church at Colossae. It's a group of people who have already received Jesus, they've put their faith and trust in Him for salvation. The first two chapters, he's really unpacking how different they are now on the inside, and a spiritual sense from having received Him by faith. But now he's doing is in the application section, he's talking about how this plays out in their everyday life. And this is what he says here. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart since members of one body since as members of one body, you were called to peace, and be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the spirit, singing to God, with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, Paul says, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. giving thanks to God, the Father through him three different times in just these three verses, and then the Apostle Paul's writing to the church at Ephesus, and he uses much of this same kind of language there. And so let's look at it before we dive into these a little bit more in depth. The apostle Paul says, Hear, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit sounds a lot like what we just read, sing and make music from your heart to the Lord again, always giving thanks to God, the Father, for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Again, you can see two very similar passages and how Paul is trying to make sure that we understand that those of us who have received Jesus into our lives as an outworking of the life of Christ that now dwells in us, what he will lead us to do, is to give things at the very heart of worship, means to give thanks to whoto God for who he is, for what it is that he's done, in what it is that he is continuing to do. And so let's just kind of break these down and talk about them a little bit more in depth and see what they really mean and how this applies to our lives. The first thing that I want to just talk a little bit about is that Paul says right here to be filled with the Spirit. Now, the moment you put your faith and trust in Jesus, you are already filled with the Spirit. We're in chapter five of Ephesians. And if you were to backup four chapters, the apostle Paul has already written to them in the very first chapter about what happened to them the moment they came to believe. He says, the moment you came to believe, the Holy Spirit was deposited in you, and you were given a new heart, you were made to a new creation in Christ, you are now fully alive in him. And so this command to be filled isn't one to have more of the Holy Spirit come upon you. You've got all of the Holy Spirit, the moment you came to believe in Him. What Paul is talking about here is to be controlled by the Spirit, make yourself available to him, and allow him to influence your mind and your emotions and your actions and the choices and the things that you are making. So he says, Be filled to this with the Spirit. And then let's just break them down. Because what Paul does next is he shows us these four things that will now happen if you're being filled by the Spirit, again, controlled by the Spirit. These are four participles that all modify the verb to be filled by the Spirit to be controlled by the Spirit, the first thing that Paul says will happen again, these are things that he's saying or, or activities that the spirit causes to come through you in an outward way. He says the first thing that will happen is you will begin to speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. In other words, the Spirit who dwells in you, when you're open to him, he's controlling you will lead you to see. If you're not singing, when we gather together for worship, then it must be in some way, shape or form. Because you're not being open to the Spirit's leading, because Paul says one of the things that he will do, if you've made yourself available to him as his instrument to express his life through you, He will lead you to sing. Now, one of the things that's really important here to stand out from what he says next is, in this way, it impacts one another, we're wired to do this to one another. A few weeks ago, we talked about from a scriptural perspective, how worship is both vertical and horizontal, right, there's a aspect of it going this way. And it going this way, the Lord is at work from the Spirit that dwells in us, to work through us towards the people in the room, to speak with psalms and hymns and songs we're seeing about these things, and, and the, the, an understanding of the life of Christ and who he is and, and what it is that he's done. And how it plays out in our lives, is being used by God, to impact the people who are sitting in front of you, and behind you and to your left and to your right, and maybe across the room. And so once again, if you aren't open to that, and to participating with the Lord and how he's leading you in that it's for the rest of us to miss out on what it is that Jesus is wanting to do in and through you to impact me to cause me to worship Him in a vertical way. And the same thing for me to influence you in every one of us as His church. So this is the horizontal aspect. And as we make ourselves available to that it points us to Jesus and the one who is transcendent, the high and exalted God who's not just near but I mean, he is the one who exists above and beyond his creation. So Paul says next, the second thing that you will see as an activity of the Spirit is that you will be singing and making music from your heart to the Lord. So in his expression, again to the God who sits above all things, His activity will cause you to seen once again, to make music and it will be from your heart. Right? Why because the Spirit dwells in your heart now, because he's changed your heart, he's given you a new heart. And it is from that place, that these this singing and making music to the Lord will come from, because that's where his life is dwelling, and it will be an expression of his life that dwells in us. Now, the third one, in order, I'm going to skip because that's the main thrust of what we're talking about today. So I'll go to the fourth one, and then we'll come back to that. But the fourth participle that's modifying be filled by the Spirit is, it shouldn't be a period at the end of this and then another sentence, it should be a comma in an ing word, because that's the way it's really written as a participle. An activity of the Spirit, when you're open to him being controlling you and working through you, you would you will find yourself submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Notice that this applies to all of us, that you may tend to focus on what Paul says after this, about husbands and wives. But one another means one another. That means all of us submission is for every single one of us who are sons and daughters of the Lord, brothers and sisters in Christ, we will find ourselves when we're making ourselves available to spirit submitting to one another because that's what he will lead us to do. It will not be about ourselves, it will be about the other people in the room with us putting their interest above our own. But then the third one again, which is a lot of our focus for today, and tied in specially to the other two, and we'll all of them in some way. He says again, always giving thanks to God the Father, for everything, not something's not just the good things, everything. And we do that in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, because it's only through the sacrifice that he made and through that spiritual union that we now experience with him that will cause us to do those things. And again, when he says everything here, the Spirit will lead us to give thanks in Every thing, there's a lot to be thankful for. Right? I mean, the Spirit will lead us to give thanks for him being our creator for him, revealing Himself to us so that we could know who God is you realize you wouldn't know who God is, if he hadn't chosen to reveal Himself to you, your mind can't figure out and comprehend God, it has to start with him. He's got to give the the revelation and the illumination for us to be able to see that we thank him for loving us, we thank him for sending Jesus to die for us for the complete forgiveness that we have in Christ for the new life that we have in Christ, we thank him for how he provides for our needs, how he gives us peace and assurance and every spiritual blessing that there is to experience we give Him thanks for how he, he holds all things together in his hands. And for always, always, always being present with us. Spirit will lead us to give thanks in everything to express things for who he is, for what he's done in the person and work of Jesus Christ, and what he is doing in our lives. Now again, this is what Paul said it to the church at Ephesus, we already read it. But let's go back and dive into it a little bit deeper in the Colossians parallel passage that we see here. Paul, first of all, says, Let the peace of Christ let's stop there, and notice whose peace it is. Its impact impossible for you to manufacture peace. Because evidently, peace is a person. He's the prince of peace, we're told in Scripture. If peace is found in a person, then it's impossible to experience true risks in true peace. Apart from Christ, no matter what you're trying to manipulate, or manufacture through your own situations and circumstances. Peace is found in a person. And if you've said yes to Jesus, and that means that you're in a spiritual union with Him, then that means you have his peace. So when Paul says here to let it rule in your hearts, he's saying to experience the peace that you have, as you make yourself available to him, and you keep your eyes fixed on him as the Prince of Peace, that you have it in him, it will rule in your hearts, and you'll begin to experience the peace that you have. But then he flows with it in links this in what he's saying about that as well. And be thankful. You ever noticed how it's really hard to experience peace, when you're not being thankful?I mean, again, when you're not being thankful, and you're complaining and grumbling and focusing on the negative, leads to anger, that leads to depression that leads to anxiety and stress and it doesn't lead to glorifying God. So Paul says here to let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts and be thankful experience it in your lives. As he goes on. He says, then let the message of Christ that's the gospel, right, the good news of Jesus Christ is what is to dwell among you richly. This is what we're to talk about the full gospel message, reminding each other that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and that when we come to Him, we have complete forgiveness in him. And it's not just a ticket to Heaven one day, but he gives us this new life and he's always innocent, working out through a sin. That is the message that is to dwell among us, Paul says richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. Again, we see the language of through psalms and hymns and songs from the spirit, singing to God, with gratitude again, in your hearts. And so this is the place where it comes from when you and I gather. When you and I gathered together for worship, as we've done today, it is not done if it is not done in a spirit of Thanksgiving. It's not really worship. If we're just singing the lyrics, the words that come up on the screen, and it's not done in a spirit with gratitude and thanksgiving in our hearts, then we may be singing, but it's not called worship. It's not worshiping the God who created us and has done the work of securing our salvation. Because when we sing, it will always lead to gratitude and thanking Him for who He is, for what it is that he has done, and what it is that he is doing in our lives. And then finally, Paul says kind of summing it all up here covers it. All right, whatever means whatever. You can't argue with this, this is everything, whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. That's pretty comprehensive. In other words, we talked about last week, how worship is both an event and an everyday experience. Worship is an event and that we gather together every Sunday for corporate worship. But then we get sent out as the church and as we talked about from Romans 12, one last week, when we make ourselves available to Him as His instruments, then he leads us that's our spiritual act of worship, right. And as he does, he leads us into a lifestyle of thanksgiving. So we gather together, we declare our thanks, we're singing about those, we're reminding each other, we're saying it out loud. And then we leave here. And he's saying, The Spirit will lead us in every single area of our life, to live a lifestyle of Thanksgiving, that's what it will look like to worship Him to give thanks to God for the job that you have and for the way that he's providing financially for you through that job, the way that he's working in you and through you to glorify and honor his name as a reflection of the personality and the gifts and talents that he's given you to do that job well and to impact the other people around you brings glory and honor to his name. And as we do so, it with thanksgiving, then it becomes an act of worship, that when you get up and you go to school, or you enter the fields, or the courts with an instrument or a ball in your hands, and you're making yourself available to him for what he's doing in you and through you to glorify His name, and him giving thanks for the ability to go and to learn or to play the sport. And then he's going to do something in youth and through you to bring glory and honor to his name becomes an act of worship, when we give thanks to God for our finances, and again, in the way he's providing for us and how he's going to use them to be a blessing to other people, and to be a part of His kingdom work becomes an act of worship for us to give thanks, even when we walk into the doctor's office. And he says that it's cancer is to worship and glorify God, not that we're giving thanks for the cancer, but thinks that he is with us and that he is for us, and that we don't have to walk through those kinds of things alone, that we have his peace, no matter what situations or circumstances, worship is a lifestyle of Thanksgiving, which is why the Apostle Paul could write in yet another letter to these New Testament churches, to rejoice always, to pray continuously. And to give thanks, in all, all means all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus, we can give thanks again in all circumstances, because no matter how bad the situations or circumstances are, the Prince of Peace dwells in your hearts, and you have peace in him. And he is at work for your good in his glory, through all things in some way. And so as we close this worship matters series out today, the thing that we see from Scripture, the truth that we see from God's Word today, again, is that worship is about a lifestyle of thanks, giving. This is what we do at the heart of what we do when we gather together, we give thanks through our singing in the proclamation of His Word. And as we pray, and as we give in, in every thing, we're giving thanks. And then we're sent out into the world, giving thanks to God again for who he is, what he's done, and what he's doing in and through us in every situation or circumstance that we find ourselves in. So my question simply is, are you living a lifestyle of thanksgiving? Are you giving thanks to God in all areas of your life? How is he even right now in this moment, taking his truth and working in your mind and through your emotions and in your heart? About how this plays out in your life as we corporately worship you? You personally, and then as he sends you and us out as the church, to let's be continuing to think about that this morning, let's be continuing to open up our hearts and our minds for the Lord to speak to us about this this morning, let's open up and make ourselves available to him to use us to give thanks and to seeing with gratitude in our hearts as we continue to worship together. And so here's what's going to happen. I am going to pray and close this message out, and the band will be coming up behind me and they're going to lead us in a time of worship and giving thanks together. And so, let's just do that. Let's pray and ask the Lord to worship and glorify His name through us today.