WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 20 2022
TOPIC: THANK GOD FOR OTHER PEOPLE
BY T.O. BANSO
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8 New King James Version).
Gratitude is the right attitude, especially being grateful to God. Thanking God for what He has done for you and even thanking Him in advance for what He will do is a great habit to cultivate. But thanking God for other people is equally an important habit to develop.
The Apostle Paul says in the last part of 1 Timothy 2:1 that giving of thanks should be made for all people. We should make supplications, prayers, and intercessions for all people but we should also give thanks for them. God loves all people. He loves the world and wants everyone to be saved (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4).
You may be doing very well in thanking God for what He has done for you and your family but how often do you thank God for other people, especially fellow Christians and others in your life? You may not be guilty of not praying for others. In other words, you’re not selfish and make requests to God for others. This is commendable. But do you thank God for them? You should pray for other Christians and others but you should also thank God for them.
There are different reasons you can give thanks to God for others. Thanksgiving could be on the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional aspects of their lives. It could be a response of gratitude to God for answered prayers in their lives, testimonies they’ve shared, the mercy of God they have enjoyed, or the good things you have observed in their lives.
The Apostle Paul shows us this example in His writings. Not only did he pray for other Christians, but he also thanked God for them and sometimes mentioned what he thanked God for. We should learn from him and thank God for other people, especially believers. Offering thanks to God for others must not be limited to our family members.
In Romans 1:8, Paul thanked God for the Roman Christians because their faith was being talked about all over the world. “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8 New King James Version). Paul said God, whom he served with his spirit in the gospel of His Son, was his witness that without ceasing he made mention of them always in his prayers, requesting that God would give him the opportunity to travel to see them at last (verses 9-10). But before his request to God, he thanked God for the Christians in Rome. Thank God for fellow believers; thank God for the church.
Paul also thanked God for the Corinthian Christians for the grace of God which was given to them by Christ Jesus. But Paul didn’t only do this, he did it always; he did it frequently. It was habitual. “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:4 New King James Version).
But did you notice what he thanked God for in their lives? He thanked God for the grace of God given to them by Jesus Christ. This is something some people may not consider important to thank God for in their lives, let alone in the lives of other believers. But the grace of God is extremely important.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says by grace we have been saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Talking about what grace did for him, Paul says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10 King James Version).
What did Paul thank God for about grace for the Corinthians or what did grace do in their lives for which Paul thanked God? Hear what Paul said: “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:4-8 New King James Version). How often do you thank God for the grace of God in your life or the lives of other Christians?
In Ephesians 1, Paul thanked God ceaselessly for the Ephesians. He said, “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers” (verses 15-16 New King James Version). Paul thanked God for them ceaselessly and made requests to God in prayer for them. Verses 17-21 give the details of his prayer to God for them. What are the positives you have noted in the spiritual lives of other Christians that you should thank God for? Don’t be envious of them; thank God for them.
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:3-6 New King James Version). Let your prayer for other Christians include thanksgiving to God.
Also, Paul didn’t leave out the Thessalonian Christians in his thanksgiving. He didn’t forget to thank God for them as he prayed for them. “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 New King James Version).
Paul emphasized his thanksgiving to God for the Thessalonians in his follow-up letter to them. He said, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other” (2 Thessalonians 1:3 New King James Version). Take note of the phrase “We are bound to thank God always for you.” The Greek word translated as “we are bound” is opheilo, which means to be under obligation. In other words, Paul said he was under an obligation to thank God for the Thessalonians.
He used the same phrase, “we are bound to” in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, saying, “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (New King James Version). Here again, Paul gave thanks to God always for the Thessalonian church.
Don’t give thanks to God for yourself and your family alone; give thanks to God for others, especially Christians. Don’t just give thanks to God for them; give thanks always. See yourself as duty-bound. Tell God what you are thanking Him for in the lives of others. Be specific. When you do this, your love for them is bound to increase.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for what You are doing in Your church all over the world. Thank You for all Your children, including Your servants, that You are using to spread the Gospel. Holy Spirit, help me to be faithful in thanking You for others, especially other Christians. Help me to see the positives I should thank God for always in other people. Let me not be envious of other people but thank God for them in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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