1. Rudyard Kipling was a great British poet whose writings have blessed many of us, including a generation gone by. Rudyard Kipling was a very famous writer even before he died, and made a great deal of money at his trade.
2. A newspaper reporter came up to him once and said, “Mr. Kipling, I just read that somebody calculated that the money you make from your writings amounts to over $100 a word.” Mr. Kipling raised his eyebrows and said, “Really, I certainly wasn’t aware of that.” The reporter cynically reached into his pocket and pulled out a $100 bill and gave it to Kipling and said, “Here’s a $100 bill Mr. Kipling. Now you give me one of your $100 words.”
3. Rudyard Kipling looked at that $100 bill for a moment, took it and folded it up and put it in his pocket and said, “Thanks.”
4. Well the word “thanks” is certainly a $100 word. In fact, I would say it is more like a million dollar word. That is one word that is too seldom heard, too rarely spoken, and too often forgotten.
5. If any nation ought to be thankful to God and grateful for His goodness, it ought to be America. If any people in America ought to be thankful to God and grateful for His goodness, it ought to be Christians. If any group of Christians ought to be thankful to God and grateful for His goodness, it ought to be the Christians in this fellowship. We ought to have an attitude of gratitude.
6. In this wonderful profound verse of Scripture Paul gives us three principles concerning this attitude of gratitude that every child of God ought to have.
I. Gratitude Is Always To Be Expressed
1. We are commanded to “give thanks.” Now that is excellent advice because a grateful person will be a happier person; a grateful person will be a healthier person; a grateful person will be a holier person.
2. But this is more than just good advice. It is a command. Gratitude is not an option, it is an obligation. You are just as obligated to give God your thanks as you are to give God your tithe. It is a sin to be ungrateful. As a matter of fact, there may be no greater sin on the face of the earth than the sin of ingratitude.
3. Shakespeare described ingratitude as a “marble-hearted fiend.” That is, he said that an ingrate had the heart of solid marble.
4. Shakespeare went on to say, “I hate ingratitude more in man than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness, or any taint of vice, whose strong corruption inhabits our frail blood.” Shakespeare said again, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.” I know of nothing that stings the heart of a parent as a child that is ungrateful for what the parent does for him.
5. The blind poet Milton said this: “He that is ungrateful has no guilt but one; all other crimes may pass for virtues in him.” That is, he said every other fault in a man is a virtue compared to the vice of in …