Give Thanks Unto God, Eph 5:20



Eph 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Notice the first word of the verse, “Giving.”  The first time the word thanks appears in the Bible is in Lev 7.  It appears as “thanksgiving.”  Thanks is a gift given to God.  It’s an offering in Lev 7:12, “If he offer it for a thanksgiving…”  Lev 7:13 “he shall offer for his offering.” Thanksgiving is a gift offered to God.  Thanksgiving and giving thanks to God.  People gave thanks unto God:

  • For his salvation – 2 Sam 22:50
  • For his goodness and mercy – 1 Chr 16:34
  • For his wonderful works – Ps 26:7
  • For his holiness – Ps 30:4
  • For his righteous judgments – Ps 119:62
  • For his provision of food – Jn 6:11, Acts 27:35, 1 Tim 4:3-4
  • For his healing – Lk 17:16
  • For his victory over death through Jesus Christ – 1 Cor 15:57
  • For his bountifulness – 2 Cor 9:11
  • For his unspeakable gift – 2 Cor 9:15
  • For like-minded brethren – Eph 1:16
  • For his inheritance – Col 1:12
  • For prayer and answered prayer – Col 4:2 
  • For everything and in everything – 1 Thes 5:18
  • For all men and those in authority – 1 Tim 2:1
  • For his millennial reign – Rev 11:17

Following Paul’s instructions, we are to give thanks:

Willingly – “Giving.” – Lev 22:29 thanksgiving is offered “at your own will.”  It’s a gift like Ex 35:5, 21, 29 from a willing heart.  Giving thanks is the will of God, 1 Thes 5:18.  Yet, when we give thanks willingly, we are offering thanks like Jesus offered himself in Gethsemane when he said, not my will but thine be done.  Jesus laid down his life willingly.  And we are to give thanks willingly.

Continually – “always.” Heb 13:15, continually.  This is something that the Jews in the wilderness did not do.  If they had, their journey would have been altogether different.  We live in a society of chronic complainers and murmurers.  We have been affected by their continual complaining.  We need to stand out with a different testimony.  We have so much for which to be thankful, and the rest of the world needs to hear that God’s children are thankful.

Sacrificially – “for all things.”  Thanksgiving is a sacrifice in Lev 7:12.  “Then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving…”  Thanksgiving “costs” you something.  It may be hard to offer thanksgiving in everything, 1 Thes 5:18, and for everything.  Ps 107:22, “Let them sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.”  Daniel gave thanks in Dan 6:10 when praying in disobedience to the king’s decree was going to potentially cost him his life.  We are to give thanks for all men and for those in authority in 1 Tim 2:1-3.  We must trust that our Father has ways and thoughts that we don’t understand.  Yet, his ways are perfect.  And if we have someone in authority about whom we might complain, we have a God in heaven against whom we have no complaints.  So, we, like Daniel, should thank him, even when those in authority might be against us.

Beneficially – “unto God.”  Giving always has benefits to the giver, some tangible and some intangible.  In Lk 17:11-19 one leper gave God thanks and glorified God for his healing.  He was made whole, whereas the other nine lepers were simply healed.  We are giving thank unto the Lord.  God loveth a cheerful giver.  Thanksgiving offerings are peace offerings, Lev 7:15, “the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving.”  v.11.  Therefore, when we pray according to Phil 4:6-7 with thanksgiving, the benefit to us is the peace of God that passeth all understanding.  The benefit is peace.

Conclusion: Giving thanks willingly is a gift, a gift all of us can give to God. Giving thanks continually keeps us from complaining.  Giving thanks sacrificially will become more necessary and common as we get closer to Jesus’ coming.  Giving thanks beneficially shows us that there is always a benefit in thanksgiving, the best blessing of which is peace.