Does joyful gratitude characterize our life? Does our hearts dwell in a culture of thankfulness? It should. When was the last time we were so overjoyed with God's work in our life that our praise began flowing spontaneously?If we have a hard time answering that question, ask ourself why? Is it because God has not blessed us enough? Or is it because we have failed to thank Him for His blessings?
Hebrew 12:28 says that gratitude is an acceptable offering to God. Why? Because it acknowledges Who He is better than any other attitude. It recognizes that He is a Blesser, a Giver, a Redeemer of incomparable worth. Gratitude sees God as He is. Here are four statements about thankfulness - requirement, really - from four different Epistles of apostle Paul:
1) Colossians 3:15-17
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
Be thankful - that is not a suggestion; it is a command. In ALL that we do we need to be guided by two principles: doing it "in the name of the Lord Jesus" and "giving thanks to God through Him"
2) Ephesians 5:19
"... speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
When you are full of the Holy Spirit you will continually give God thanks. In fact, you can measure the fullness of the Spirit within you partly by the spirit of a thankful heart. When you cease to do so, it is one sure indication you are beginning to leak out
3) 1 Thessalonians 5:18
"... in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
What is the will of God in Christ Jesus? To give thanks in everything. So if you are not giving thanks, as we have already see, you are actually out of the will of God.
4) Philippians 4:6
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."
Never bring a request to God without thanksgiving. There is nothing wrong with petitioning God for His help, but there is something tragically wrong with failing to thank Him often. Cultivate in your life a culture of gratitude.
The essentials of a Grateful Heart:
- It provides access to God's presence (Psalm 100:4)
- It unlocks the supernatural miracle power of God (John 6:11-12 the feeding of the five thousand)
- It ascribes glory to God by acknowledging His goodness (Psalm 107:1)
- It testifies to His character in the eyes of the world (Exodus 34:6-7; Colossians 3:17)
- It keeps in His will (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Gratitude is an attitude that if it isn't flowing naturally now, should be cultivated zealously. Practice it often, and it will soon become as natural as breathing.
TPWC - http://thepraiseandworshipconnection.blogspot.com