Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. -Ephesians 5:19-20Rule 1: Thanks can be given in any situation. We can and should offer thanks to God in any and every circumstance and place we find ourselves in. The heart of this sort of thanksgiving is humility. Knowing who He is and who we are gives us a righteous perspective that opens our eyes to our unworthiness and his grace and mercy. Our hearts should always be overflowing with thanksgiving for His love for us.
Rule 2: We should not thank God for the work of the enemy. You may wonder why the verse above says to thank God "for everything"- good question.. and I don't really have a direct answer other than to say that we should thank God for what He does and not for what others do. This scripture that speaks to the context of things that we should be thankful for:
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. -James 1:16-17Speaking in the context of someone saying "God is tempting me" James makes it clear that the works of the enemy are not from God. As such we should not give thanks for things like temptations, disease and other works of the enemy.
Rule 3: We should always offer thanks when we pray. Thanksgiving is the foundation of prayer. When we pray we must come to the Father with a thankful heart. This scripture speaks to the relationship of prayer to thanksgiving:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. -Philippians 4:6Interesting to note how it says "with thanksgiving".. in a sense it is how we should do everything. The Apostle Paul speaks to the idea of doing everything with a heart of gratitude when he writes:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. -Colossians 3:16Continually giving thanks will change your life because it will change your focus.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my rules.. any others that you might add?