In 1 Timothy 4, Paul warns of those who will teach doctrines of demons in the “later times.”
What will they do? They will cancel thanksgiving.
Cancel large gatherings (if you feel so led), but never cancel Thanksgiving.
Paul then writes, “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified (made holy) by God’s word and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5). Everything created by God is good. “God… created all things” (Eph. 3:9). Wow.
God created Adam. So, is Adam good? Yep!
“It’s not good that the Adam should be alone.” So, did God create loneliness? Nope!
Adam can’t find his Helper, but his Helper is with him. God is humanity’s Helper.
“Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:18), “always and for everything” (Eph. 5:20), and “everything… is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5). Wow.
How about “good things?” How are they sanctified?
If you thank God for a good thing, you acknowledge that that thing is a gift.
Thanksgiving destroys idols, turns them into temples, and creates worshippers.
How about “bad things”? Should we still thank God?
Naked women aren’t bad, but how I look at one might be. If I thank God for a beautiful woman, an idol becomes a temple, and I’m much more likely to look away if she’s not my temple, and much more likely to love her well if she’s my bride.
Red wine isn’t bad, but how I drink it might be. If I thank God for the wine, it no longer has me, and I not only have wine, but communion with Jesus in the temple that is me.
I do have “all things,” but with thanksgiving, “all things” don’t have me.
How about “good decisions”? Do you thank God for your good decisions?
The biblical term for “good decisions,” is Righteousness, or perhaps, Faith, Hope and Love.
Are you self-righteous or thankful?
Do you make good decisions or do Good Decisions—Faith, Hope and Love—make you?
If “free will” is a thing, God created that thing. So, give thanks.
If “free will” is uncreated, it is the Uncreated Creator in you. So, give thanks.
But if you think you yourself are that Uncreated Creator, you are insane and utterly alone… except that you just heard this Word… so give thanks.
How about “bad decisions”?
I don’t think we can thank God for bad decisions, for God didn’t make them, and therefore, they don’t actually “exist.” We only think they exist, like your shadow—the shape of the darkness cast by you in the presence of the Light.
Perhaps we can’t thank God for darkness, for it doesn’t actually exist, but we can thank God for the experience of the absence of light, for it makes us long for the light.
Perhaps we can’t thank God for sin, but we can thank him for the experience of having sinned and the knowledge that “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
And if, in Jesus’s name, you happen to thank God for a little nothing, don’t be surprised if it turns into a whole lot of something, for you just spoke the Word into a void, and that Word will not return empty.
How about “yourself”?
Your self is a mix of good things and bad things, good decisions, and bad decisions. But, just by saying, “Thank you”—”eucharisto” in Greek—your false self is destroyed, and your true self is born, the self for whom you are eternally grateful.
When you thank God for yourself, you expose yourself to the judgment of God.
How about “your neighbor”?
If you truly thank God for yourself, you’ll have no problem thanking God for your neighbor, and you’ll discover that you are absolutely not alone.
How about “the Good”? (That’s the Will of God.)
“God alone is good,” said Jesus. But God is not alone, for he gives himself away.
Thank God for the Good in flesh who is the Life.
How about “the Evil”? (I suspect that evil is that which God does not will.)
It turns out that God uses sin, death, hell, and even Satan to deliver us from evil.
So what exactly is evil? Perhaps what God first declared to be “not good”: loneliness.
It must be an inability to recognize your Helper—the Will of Love, the Word of Love, who is the Life and the incarnation of the Good.
Perhaps you can’t thank God for evil, but you can thank him for the fact that you’ve known the evil and now choose the Good in freedom; you love Love, and so, you’re not alone.
How about “the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil” in the middle of the garden?
Did God make that tree? Yep. So, is it good? Yep.
Did we take the fruit of that tree in a way that’s evil? Yep.
Can the fruit be received in a way that’s good, that’s sanctified, that’s holy, that’s Life?
Can a tree of knowledge be a tree of life?
How about the tree in the middle of the garden of Calvary on which hangs the Life, the incarnation of the Good, the Will of God, the Word of God, and the Judgment of God?
Did we make that tree? Or does that tree make us… or both?
It is the greatest evil—the moment we took the Life and came to know evil.
And it is the greatest good—the moment the Good revealed himself and gave us his Life.
Say, “Thank you,” and the greatest evil reveals the greatest Good; it is sanctified.
On that tree is reality.
How do you take it, or receive it—that is him, your Helper?
It is the difference between a hell of loneliness and the Kingdom of Love.
We all have taken the life of the Good and come to know evil.
But the Good came to give us his Life and raise us from the dead.
When we say, “Thank you,” it is the Word we took, rising from the dead within us, being spoken into the void through us, and making all things new—that is, Sanctified.
For two thousand years believers have referred to the body broken and blood shed as the “eucharist.” In Greek, “eu” means “good” and “charis” means “grace.” To say, “Thank you,” is to say, “That’s some good grace!”
It turns out that everything that’s anything is grace, and all reality is a thank you.
When you truly say, “Thank you,” you are sanctified, and all things with you.
You are his Holy Place.