Message – Is Gratitude your Attitude
Is Gratitude your Attitude?
Looking at three simple examples of gratitude and what a heart filled with it looks like.
Actually one is a “non-example” or an counter-example.
Turn to Rom. 1:16-25
Weymouth “(16) For I am not ashamed of the Good News. It is God’s power which is at work for the salvation of everyone who believes–the Jew first, and then the Gentile.
“God directs his people not simply to worship but to sing his praises ‘before the nations.’ We are called not simply to communicate the gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the gospel before them.”—Timothy J. Keller
(17) For in the Good News a righteousness which comes from God is being revealed, depending on faith and tending to produce faith; as the Scripture has it, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (18) For God’s anger is being revealed from Heaven against all impiety and against the iniquity of men who through iniquity suppress the truth.
God is angry:
(19) because what may be known about Him is plain to their inmost consciousness; for He Himself has made it plain to them. (20) For, from the very creation of the world, His invisible perfections–namely His eternal power and divine nature–have been rendered intelligible and clearly visible by His works, so that these men are without excuse. (21) For when they had come to know God, they did not give Him glory as God nor render Him thanks (The Holman translation has it as, “or show gratitude”) has , but they became absorbed in useless discussions, and their senseless minds were darkened.
(22) While boasting of their wisdom they became utter fools, (23) and, instead of worshipping the imperishable God, they worshipped images resembling perishable man or resembling birds or beasts or reptiles.
We stand in very real danger of this every day of our lives.
We HAVE to read ALL of the bible as if ALL of it applies to us either as encouragement in continuing to do good, or as a warning to stop or avoid evil.
This says heart gratitude was replaced and substituted by becoming absorbed in useless things – what the Jews called the “fleeting life” as opposed to Eternal Life as we learned on Sunday.
Our minds tend to gravitate to things we believe we lack, things we wish we had, things we wish we did not have to deal with…they become absorbed in useless things – THAT is where the LARGEST portion of depression and despondency come from – a lack of hope.
The writer of Hebrews tells us to consider the pernicious onslaught of evil and hatred Jesus endured lest we become weary and faint in our souls over the comparatively simple difficulties we face.
To focus on our problems – constantly regurgitate them to others and meditate on them rather than the hope we have in Christ is to give into depraved cravings for sympathy and attention which comes from our flesh. ANY ACTIVITY or talk which draws attention to self (either for sympathy or praise) is self indulgent and anti-Christ. Therefore God says…
(24) For this reason, in accordance with their own depraved cravings, God gave them up to uncleanness, allowing them to dishonour their bodies among themselves with impurity.
(25) For they had bartered the reality of God for what is unreal, and had offered divine honours and religious service to created things, rather than to the Creator–He Who is forever blessed. Amen.”
This is where the “practical agnostic lives” of the typical Christian fail to remain in their vine. The Bible does not describe God’s true children as those whose trust in Christ is a past event for a future reality – but those who LIVE BY FAITH…meaning, their trust in a favorable expectation is ongoing and never fading because they do not get caught up in the mundane entanglements of this life. In addressing this very same thing Jesus said,
John 5:38-44, NKJV “(38) But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. (39) You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. (40) But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. (41) “I do not receive honor from men. (42) But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. (43) I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. (44) How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”
Our next verse is a positive example of gratitude and thanks and is a suitable answer to the depraved wallowing in selfish pity or pride this first person is an example of…
Weymouth “(1) If however you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, enthroned at God’s right hand. (2) Give your minds to the things that are above, not to the things that are on the earth.
(3) Because… you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (4) When Christ appears–He is our true Life–then you also will appear with Him in glory. (5) Therefore put to death your earthward inclinations–fornication, impurity, sensual passion, unholy desire, and all greed, for that is a form of idolatry. (6) It is on account of these very sins that God’s anger is coming, (7) and you also were once addicted to them, while you were living under their power. (8) But now you must rid yourselves of every kind of sin–angry and passionate outbreaks, ill-will, evil speaking, foul-mouthed abuse–so that these may never soil your lips. (9) Do not speak falsehoods to one another, for you have stripped off the old self with its doings, (10) and have clothed yourselves with the new self which is being remoulded into full knowledge so as to become like Him who created it. (11) In that new creation there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free man, but Christ is everything and is in all of us. (12) Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own people holy and dearly loved, with tender-heartedness, kindness, lowliness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; (13) bearing with one another and readily forgiving each other, if any one has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also must forgive. (14) And over all these put on love, which is the perfect bond of union; (15) and let the peace which Christ gives settle all questionings in your hearts, to which peace indeed you were called as belonging to His one Body; and be thankful. (16) Let the teaching concerning Christ remain as a rich treasure in your hearts.”
LET IT REMAIN (Abide – sound familiar?) Question – IF you let this abide in you – what will be the result? Answer – FRUIT!
In all wisdom teach and admonish one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and sing with grace in your hearts to God. (17) And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, and let it be through Him that you give thanks to God the Father.”
Finally, an area of thanksgiving which is particularly pertinent to this week of Thanksgiving…
Weymouth “(1) Now the Spirit expressly declares that in later times some will fall away from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and the teachings of demons; (2) through the hypocrisy of men who teach falsely and have their own consciences seared as with a hot iron; (3) forbidding people to marry, and insisting on abstinence from foods which God has created to be partaken of, with thankfulness, by those who believe and have a clear knowledge of the truth. (4) For everything that God has created is good, and nothing is to be cast aside, if only it is received with thanksgiving. (5) For it is made holy by the word of God and by prayer.”
Notice that to thankfulness includes attention to God’s word and communing with Him.
Vs 5 – Is set apart from a common to a sacred use by the word of God and buy prayer!
The true Christian – living as they are designed to can have NO occurrence or action in their lives which are not 100% sacred by nature.
Titus 1:15-16, NKJV “(15) To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. (16) They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”
1Cor. 10:31, NKJV “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
A few final thoughts concerning worship – for worship springs from a heart of gratitude:
It is the privilege of every Christian to live so fully in God that he never gets out of the experienced Presence for one moment. When we have so learned to live in God and to experience His continual Presence, everything in our lives becomes spiritually significant. The old dividing line between the spiritual and the secular is removed, and every act becomes spiritual. What before had seemed mundane and nonspiritual now shines with a new light. God is found to be inhabiting our simplest acts as surely as our most lofty ones. All of life becomes good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. A life lived in Christ becomes in the true sense a life of unceasing prayer. The whole life becomes a prayer: words are verbal prayers, thoughts become mental prayers, deeds become prayers in action and even sleep may be but unconscious prayer. Psychology acknowledges a deep-down stratum of the mind which it calls the subconscious. It is that part which is in control during sleep and while we are under the power of an anesthetic. It may be the part of us that receives spiritual impressions first, becoming consciously aware of them only after they have first been received and registered in that mysterious depth of the mind which lies immediately below consciousness. Whether or not that is the correct explanation for things, it is still true that the whole mind may be placed so fully under the control of Christ that even sleep and forgetfulness work on our side to bless and help us in our practical waking lives. Whatever the explanation, the fact is known to every Spirit-filled Christian. We are only trying to state the familiar truth in less familiar language.
“I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation. I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on. I need worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.” —John Ortberg
“Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.” —Charles Spurgeon\
“Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises from a feeling which ‘comes upon you,’ but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted in a conscious act of the will, to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Graham Kendrick
“Put it this way: if your idea of God, if your idea of the salvation offered in Christ, is vague or remote, your idea of worship will be fuzzy and ill-formed. The closer you get to the truth, the clearer becomes the beauty, and the more you will find worship welling up within you. That’s why theology and worship belong together. The one isn’t just a headtrip; the other isn’t just emotion.” —N.T. Wright
“We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders.” —G.K. Chesterton
“There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us.” —Ravi Zacharias
“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.” —A.W. Tozer
“Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.” —D.A. Carson
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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