I Thank God For You

I Thank God For You

I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.
Romans 1:8

I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
I Corinthians 1:4

I have not stopped giving thanks for you.
Ephesians 1:15-16

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

We always thank God… when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints.
Colossians 1:3-4

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 
I Thessalonians 1:2-3

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
II Thessalonians 1:3

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
Philemon 1:4-5

The fall is upon us once more. Another Thanksgiving will soon be here. Brother warriors, what an incredible example of thanksgiving the apostle Paul sets for us in the above passages. He publicly expresses his gratitude for these disciples and specifically mentions why he is so thankful for them. Imagine how it must have felt to receive one of these letters of gratitude from Paul. I remember a tradition we had growing up in my family whenever it was somebody’s birthday. We would go around the dinner table and tell them publicly and specifically what we appreciated about them. It usually ended with my dad crying and giving a big hug to the birthday boy or girl. That was the best birthday present!

During this season of Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for the wonderful family—both physical and spiritual— that surrounds me here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My in-laws moved here from New York this fall and have been such a blessing for me, my wife, my three children and our small congregation. And now we’re preparing for my parents to move here the week after Thanksgiving! I look forward to fighting the Lord’s battles side-by-side once again with my dad, who has been an example for me my entire life of what it means to be a godly warrior. I thank God for you, Dad.

Do you realize that you have within your power the ability to increase the faith and motivation of all those around you? What does it do for you when you know you are appreciated? Are we not more motivated, more likely to forgive inadvertent offenses and just generally more joyful and full of faith? On the other hand, few things are more demoralizing than feeling unappreciated.

Men, let’s express our thankfulness during this season. When a warrior expresses their gratitude for those who are in the fight with them it says, “I have faith in you. I believe in you. I trust you.” Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:29 that we should say “only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.” Are you using your words to deliberately build up your spouse, your kids, your co-workers, the disciples in your small group and the warriors around you? Too often we fail to express gratitude specifically, verbally and publicly as Paul did. Let’s stop holding back these simple words from one another: I thank God for you!

Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

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