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How to Give Thanks

November 24th, 2019

Minoh International Church
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso
Acts 27:35
使徒の働き 27:35


Advance Happy Thanksgiving to our American brothers and sisters.

What does it mean to give thanks in all circumstances?

Paul was on board a ship that had gone through a vicious storm, and was trying to make an emergency landing. Though a prisoner, Paul was permitted some privileges of which one was to counsel the people onboard the ship.

For the first time in two weeks, light began to appear, and Paul encouraged the men to take some food.

Why couldn’t they eat? Possibly because of the effects of the storm. They felt nauseated and seasick.

Maybe due to the necessity to be vigilant and watchful. Or, maybe due to the lack of food from lightening the ship (they threw away some cargos), and perhaps the desire to fast to please their “gods,” had kept the passengers from eating.

Here in our text, Paul leads in the eating of a meal on board the ship before the shipwreck.

[Spoiler alert: Nobody died in the shipwreck just like what an angel of God had told him in Acts 27:22~24.]

Before the meal Paul did a simple but most instructive thing: He gave thanks for the food that was being given to those on board the ship.

“After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.”

Acts 27:35


使徒の働き 27:35 JLB

How did the apostle Paul give thanks? How do we give thanks?

  1. Give thanks in everything

“Gave thanks to God.” This is such a simple act, yet few people thank God for their food or for anything. It is a grateful heart that is a good heart.

In everything give thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:18


テサロニケ人への手紙Ⅰ 5:18 JLB

We don’t give thanks for everything, but in everything. We acknowledge God’s sovereign hand is in charge, and not blind fate or chance.

JOKE: Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence.  The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn’t make it.

Terrified, the one shouted to the other, “Put up a prayer, John. We’re in for it!”

John answered, “I can’t. I’ve never made a public prayer in my life.”

“But you must!” implored his companion. “The bull is catching up to us.”

“All right,” panted John, “I’ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: ‘O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.'”

In your learning, learn to give thanks, especially to God. To not know how to give thanks means you have a character problem. This is the single charge that God has against those who don’t believe in Him.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Romans 1:21


ローマ人への手紙 1:21 JLB

You may fail in many areas of life, but you will have a successful life if you know how to give thanks to God for His blessings.

  1. Give thanks persistently

“After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God.” Paul gave thanks in spite of two things.
使徒の働き 27:35 – 35 (こう言うと、)パウロはパンを取り、みなの前で感謝の祈りをしてから、裂いて食べ始めたのです

  • He gave thanks in spite of his troubles.

He was experiencing a tough storm at sea but he still gave thanks. A good way to combat bad circumstances is to give thanks to God. Failure to give thanks will only make your situation worse. Thank God even if you are up to your neck in problems. The ladder out of your troubles is thanksgiving.

  • He gave thanks in spite of his possessions.

He gave thanks though he did not have much. The food for which he gave thanks was not a great meal. Sailors seldom eat well on a cruise especially in those days after going through a storm. But Paul would thank God for what he had though it wasn’t much. If we would quit complaining about what we do not have and thank God for what we do have, we would be of a much better attitude and honor God more.

  1. Give thanks to God

“He took some bread and gave thanks to God.”
使徒の働き 27:35 (JLB) – 35 こう言うと、パウロはパンを取り、みなの前で感謝の祈りをしてから、裂いて食べ始めたのです

I have many unforgettable conversations with my English students in Kyoto. Someone said, “Why should I thank God? My husband works and brings home money to buy everything we need. I should thank him instead.” Another one really astounded me. She said, “My God is my husband!”

People are prone to ascribe their appreciation to something or someone else instead of God Himself. Their view of things is either shortsighted or misplaced. Do you remember the Israelites ascribing their deliverance from slavery in Egypt to a golden calf they molded, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4,8).
人々には,神そのものではなく他のなにか,あるいは他のだれかに感謝の念を抱く傾向があります。彼らのものの見方は近視眼的で,見当違いです。エジプトから無事脱出したイスラエル人が神様より金の子牛に感謝したという聖書の記述を思い出してください。 出エジプト記 32:4 – 4 アロンはその金を火で溶かし、鋳型に入れ、道具を使って子牛の形にしました。イスラエルの民は、「イスラエルばんざい! これこそ、われわれをエジプトから連れ出した神だ」と言って、喜び叫びました。

The same happened during Paul and Barnabas’s 1st missionary journey. They reached Lystra and healed a lame man. When this happened, Acts 14:11~13 records that “11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form!’ 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.”
使徒の働き 14:11-13 – 11 これを見た人々は、その地方のことばで、「神々だ。人間の姿をした神々だ」と叫びました。 12 そして、大騒ぎしながら、二人をギリシヤの神々にまつり上げたのです。バルナバはゼウス、パウロはおもに話をしたので、ヘルメスだということになりました。 13 町の門のすぐ外にあるゼウス神殿の祭司までが、花飾りを持って駆けつけ、門のところで群衆といっしょに雄牛を数頭いけにえとし、二人にささげようとしました。

God is the Source of our blessings and needs to be the first One thanked for our blessing. “For in Him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Those who give thanks to God are more likely to give thanks to their fellow man. An ungrateful heart towards God produces and ungrateful heart towards men.
使徒の働き 17:28 – 28 私たちは神の中に生き、動き、存在しているのです。あなたがたの詩人の一人が、『私たちは、神の子孫だ』と言ったとおりです。

  1. Give thanks publicly

“Gave thanks to God in front of them all.” Paul was not ashamed to recognize God in public. He gave thanks before 276 people (Acts 27:37) and set the example himself by eating.
使徒の働き 27:35 – 35 こう言うと、パウロはパンを取り、みなの前で感謝の祈りをしてから、裂いて食べ始めたのです。

His giving thanks was a testimony for God. So many people do not give thanks in public. Go to a public restaurant and observe how few people give thanks for their meals.

Don’t be shy to testify about what God is doing in your life. Share your story and give glory to God.

If you are not willing to give God thanks in public, do not be surprised if God is not willing to bless you in public.


Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful.

One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, “Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.”

Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, “We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.”

The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps in constant communion with Him will see many reasons for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long. Let us then give thanks to God in everything, persistently and publicly.