Monday, November 21, 2005

Gratitude

This article touched me. Perhaps it will speak to you?
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DEMONSTRATE GRATITUDE

Gratitude is a feeling, but it is more than a feeling. Gratitude is also demonstrated by what we do; it may be a sacrifice in that we don't have an overwhelming feeling. Sometimes we feel grateful, sometimes we do not. But we must always be grateful, whether or not we feel it. We must do it, that is, demonstrate gratitude not only by words but also by deeds.

Gratitude shows that we set a value on God's kindness. “In the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7, NKJV). In the book of Titus, Paul explains that “when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:4-5).

God hates ingratitude but loves our being thankful. Ingratitude is so serious that Moses warned: “'If you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God'” (Deut. 8:19-20; cf. Lev.26).

How do we show our gratitude? By telling Him. But that is not all. We also show gratitude by living a holy life. Never forget that we are not saved by being holy, we are holy because we have been saved. But because we are still sinners, we easily forget and become careless.

Gratitude is demonstrated furthermore by our giving Him one-tenth of our income. Now tithing was made legal under the law. We, however, are not under the law but under grace. We are not required to tithe as a condition of salvation. But God promises to bless those who do (see Mal. 3:10).

This principle continues in the New Testament (see 1 Cor. 16:2). The principle of receiving blessing is also continued: “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6).

We show gratitude by sharing our faith with others. What if our gratitude to God was summed up entirely by our witnessing to others? What gratitude to God would you have manifested until now? And, there is a glorious fringe benefit in sharing our faith: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 6, NIV)

We thank God by the amount of time we spend alone with Him. We reveal how important another person is to us by the actual amount of time we give to them. How much time do you give solely to God by being utterly alone with Him and talking only to Him? There will be no praying like this in heaven. Are you happy about your personal prayer life? If not, do something about it now-start today!

We thank God by discovering what pleases the Lord. This comes by experiencing two things: walking in the light (see 1 John 1:7) and becoming acquainted with the ungrieved Spirit of God (see Eph. 4:30). When we discern what pleases Him we know better how to please Him!

We show gratitude also by our church attendance, respecting those God has put over us, and doing good works. This can include such things as visiting the sick, the widows, those in prison, or who are helpless. It includes feeding the poor or giving someone a ride to church. It may mean doing things in your church that nobody wants to do; cleaning up and whatever needs to be done.

Do you value the kindness of God toward you? For what are you grateful? If you cannot think of things to show how thankful you are, take the time to make a prayer list-or “praise” list!
Here are some suggestions to begin your list: for salvation, that He gave you faith, your church, your pastor, your job-income, your health, the Bible, what God is doing for you today and what He did for you yesterday.

When you begin to count your blessings you will see that the list is endless!

Adapted from “Just Say Thanks” by R.T. Kendall, copyright 2005, published by Charisma House. This book's life-changing message will enable you to discover the power of offering a sacrifice of praise during adversity, getting God's undivided attention, and receive a greater anointing by having a thankful heart and expressing gratitude. To order a copy click here http://cbw.strang.com/c.cgi?ProdID=6272&Source=SWSPON

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