The Circle of Gratitude and Glory

Giving thanks changes us and glorifies God.  If such a small thing has that much of an impact why don’t we do it more often?  You will after learning this truth.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:15  

Thanksgiving is an essential theme in the Bible.  Humans are different people when they are thankful.  Thanksgiving changes our heart and affects our community.

Do you know why you should give thanks?

Do you know how to give thanks?

We see a circle of Gratitude and Glory in our text verse.  Let’s break in down into three elements.

1. God Gives Abundant Grace.

This is a Bible Truth.  Also, it is the reality of our experience.

What is grace?  Here are a few simple definitions.

Grace– unmerited favour;  power of God to do His will;  God giving us what we don’t deserve.

His grace is Amazing!  (As the song says.)

This verse reminds us that His grace is abundant also!  What does the word “abundant” mean?  Here are the English and Greek definitions.

Websters – An American Dictionary of the English Language 

ABUND´ANT, a. Plentiful; in great quantity; fully sufficient; as an abundant supply. In scripture, abounding; having in great quantity; overflowing with.

Strong’s – A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible 

4121.  πλεονάζω plĕŏnazō, pleh-on-ad´-zo; from 4119; to do, make or be more, i.e. increase (trans. or intrans.); by extens. to superabound:—abound, abundant, make to increase, have over.

Those definitions paint a fantastic picture.  God gives us more grace than we could ever use!  Think about your life.  Consider the countless things that God does for you that you could never earn.  He gives them because He is good.

2 Corinthians Chapter four can be divided into a list of God’s Abundant Grace.

Production – :1-2

  • ministry
  • personal growth

Provision – :3-7

Protection – :8-11

  • life
  • body
  • ministry

Promotion – :12-18

  • life
  • faith
  • power
  • renewal
  • Heaven

Our lives are overflowing with God’s amazing and abundant grace!

2. We Give Many Thanks

God’s abundant grace causes us to give thanks.  Once you see the good hand of God working in your life and you realize that you don’t deserve His love and mercy and grace, you can’t help but give thanks.

We have so many reasons to thank God!  Consider this verse.

2 Corinthians 9:11  “Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”

If you can see how rich your life is with blessing, it causes you to give thanks and praise!

What is Biblical thanksgiving and how do we give it?  Here are a few more definitions.

Websters – An American Dictionary of the English Language

THANKSGIV´ING, ppr. Rendering thanks for good received.

Thanksgiving and gratitude work together.  You can’t have one without the other.

Websters – An American Dictionary of the English Language GRATITUDE

GRAT´ITUDE, n. [L. gratitudo, from gratus, pleasing. See Grace.]
An emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received; a sentiment of kindness or good will towards a benefactor; thankfulness. Gratitude is an agreeable emotion, consisting in or accompanied with good will to a benefactor, and a disposition to make a suitable return of benefits or services, or when no return can be made, with a desire to see the benefactor prosperous and happy. Gratitude is a virtue of the highest excellence, as it implies a feeling and generous heart, and a proper sense of duty.

This is the technical Greek definition for the word “thanksgiving” in our text.  It adds a little more nuance to the word.

Strong’s – A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible 

2169.εὐχαριστία ĕucharistia, yoo-khar-is-tee´-ah; from 2170; gratitude: act. grateful language (to God, as an act of worship):—thankfulness, (giving of) thanks (-giving).

Notice “grateful language.”

We give thanks with our lips.

Hebrews 13:15–16  “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

Remember that the Book of Hebrews was written to Israelites saved out of the traditional sacrificial system.  They were accustomed to animal sacrifice, but on the Cross, Jesus fulfilled every symbol that the sacrifices pictured.  Christ did on the Cross what the blood of bulls and goats could never do!  Praise God!

These verses help the believing Hebrews to see that the new sacrifices they should offer are with their lips and actions.

We give thanks with our actions.

Colossians 3:17  “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

1 Peter 4:11  “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Do your deeds bring glory or reproach to God?  Live a life of thanksgiving.

God’s blessings are so abundant that we should never cease to praise Him.

In addition, the more people we lead to faith in Christ, the more people there are to give Him thanks!

3. God Gets Much Glory.

Every good word you speak and each good work you do in the name of God glorifies Him.  That’s good news!

Furthermore, God multiplies our simple words and deeds to increase His glory.

There is an unusual word in our text verse.  Redound.  What does it mean?

Strong’s – A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible 4052. περισσεύω

4052.  περισσεύω pĕrissĕuō, per-is-syoo´-o; from 4053; to superabound (in quantity or quality), be in excess, be superfluous; also (trans.) to cause to superabound or excel:—(make, more) abound, (have, have more) abundance, (be more) abundant, be the better, enough and to spare, exceed, excel, increase, be left, redound, remain (over and above).

Websters – An American Dictionary of the English Language 

REDOUND´, v. i. [It. ridondare; L. redundo; red, re, and undo, to rise or swell, as waves.]
1. To be sent, rolled or driven back.
  The evil, soon
  Driven back, redounded as a flood on those
  From whom it sprung.      Milton.
2. To conduce in the consequence; to contribute; to result.
  The honor done to our religion ultimately redounds to God, the author of it.      Rogers.
3. To proceed in the consequence or effect; to result.
  There will no small use redound from them to that manufacture.

As we give thanks with our words and deeds, they cause God to get the glory as a result.  But notice that our thanks ” redound” to the glory of God.  Picture the ocean.  You can see its swells in the distance.  As they approach the shore they begin to rise.  They continue to climb until they crash over on the coast.  It’s a beautiful sight.

I believe this is a good picture of how God increases our praise.  The simple swells of our gratitude become majestic waves as they redound to the glory of God!

Why is that important?

It’s all about God’s Glory!  He alone is worthy of all praise!

Revelation 4:11   “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Life is not about you and me.  It’s about Him!

May we be able to say with the Apostle Paul…

Galatians 1:24  “And they glorified God in me.”

Don’t miss this simple circle of gratitude and glory.

Why should we give thanks?

God has blessed us with abundant Grace!

When we use our words and actions to express our gratitude, God gets the glory.

And that’s what it’s all about.

Then the circle begins again with God’s never-ending grace.

Have you noticed God’s grace in your life?  Have you been vocal about it?  Will you give God the glory in your life from now on?

Let’s do it.

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