Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
I. THE DUTY HERE ENJOINED is to give thanks. Thankfulness is such a sense of favours received from, and of obligations due to, a benefactor, as disposes us to make suitable acknowledgments and returns.
1. A grateful heart retains the impression of past mercies.
2. Gratitude sees a real value in God's blessings.
3. A sense of our unworthiness enters into the essence of thankfulness.
4. In the exercise of gratitude, we shall improve God's favours to the ends for which He bestows them.
5. Gratitude delights to express its feelings and sentiments.
6. Thankfulness studies a suitable return. God's goodness should lead us to repentance. When favour is shown us we should learn righteousness. His mercies should persuade us to present ourselves to Him as living sacrifices. His disinterested love should awaken in us sentiments of benevolence to our fellow men.
II. CONSIDER THE CHARACTER OF THAT BEING TO WHOM OUR THANKS MUST BE SUPREMELY DIRECTED. God is the Father of the universe, and the Giver of all the blessings which we receive, and which we behold around us.
1. To Him we must give thanks; for all things are His.
2. To Him we must give thanks; for He has given us all things richly to enjoy.
3. To Him we must give thanks; for His goodness is free and disinterested.
III. WE ARE REQUIRED TO GIVE THANKS ALWAYS TO GOD.
1. We ought to be always in a habit of thankfulness, and in a readiness for actual thanksgiving, whenever providence calls us to it.
2. Thanksgiving should find a place in all our stated addresses to God.
3. All special favours should be distinctly observed and acknowledged.
4. We should be thankful in every condition.
5. We should never cease to give thanks.
IV. THE MATTERS FOR WHICH WE ARE TO GIVE THANKS. "All things." Personal blessings. The benefits of civil society, Religious privileges.
V. THE MEDIUM OF OUR ACCESS TO GOD IN THIS DUTY — "The name of Jesus Christ." God putteth no trust in His saints; the heavens are not clean in His sight. How much less man that is a worm; man that is a sinner! We are not worthy to speak to Him in praise for the benefits which we receive; much less to ask of Him farther benefits; least of all to receive the benefits which we ask. We are, therefore, directed not only to pray but also to give thanks in the name of Christ.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;