Attitudes of Gratitude
How many times have you heard someone say…”I’ve worked hard all my life to have everything that I have”? We sometimes see ourselves as our source of strength, our happiness and prosperity, thinking that we are what we are, or have what we have, solely because of what we have done. We can be negligent in giving credit to God for what He bestows on us, or allows us to accomplish. We forget that we receive blessings because God wants us to bless us with things that we desire because we have served Him faithfully.
I read these words somewhere, which were referring to life in the Garden of Eden: “The beginning of man’s rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart”.
Psalm 100 tells us to thank the Lord for who He is and what He has done. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord. In other words, get enthused about God and all of the blessings He brings to your life. Rejoice, sing praises, clang cymbals and gongs, shout to the Heavens His Holy Name, and do these things without reservation.
Picture this…..a stadium filled with excited, roaring, motivated football fans, yelling and screaming for their teams, their enthusiasm overflowing from the bleachers. Why is it so easy to visualize this scenario and think it appropriate, but find we cannot show the same excitement to others when we talk about God and His love for us? Would we even dare to be like that crowd in the stadium in our church sanctuary? Probably not, because we might feel it would be irreverent, not respectful worship, certainly not part of our traditional Presbyterian worship!
Did you know that the word enthused comes from a Greek work that means “possessed by God”? Do you feel enthused at this moment while we are discussing God and remembering His blessings for each of us?
Part of the problem in churches today is that the people in them forget to show that they are possessed by God with an enthusiastic spirit. They sit and listen respectfully to the pastor’s sermon, some are not happy with some of the hymns, some are daydreaming about other things, some are drowsy and trying to stay awake, and some keep checking their watches to see how much longer before worship is over. This is certainly not the type of a church that would inspire others to want to be a part.
Do you remember when the children of our church brought to worship the hand motions for the Doxology and asked the congregation to learn them? At first, everyone seemed hesitant and somewhat awkward to doing that, but began learning to raise their hands in thanks to God. Now it is a part of our praise to Him as we thank Him for all of our blessings. Have you ever looked around at that time to see the smiles that are on some of our faces? We have even been so bold to do those hand motions when we have visited other churches. Sometimes people stare at us but we do them anyway because we are enthused at that moment about God’s blessings to us!
I find that our church and its people rejoice in sharing the love of God with others in many ways. Some do it quietly with beautiful cards mailed to others to let them know they are remembered. Others make phone calls. Some bake wonderful goodies to give to others. Some visit people who are living in nursing homes to let them know they are missed and not forgotten. Many of us help to prepare delicious food to share with the community of people who come to partake. Some of our people send emails to others who enjoy being part of the “online” community. Now we have a wonderful web site to share with those people, where they can read the pastor’s words to us, view church history, read devotions and Bible lessons.
As a faithful and dedicated church people, we are not hesitant to share God’s word with the world around us. God must be first as our motivation for service with gladness. This is how we show forth attitudes of gratitude. We belong to Him. We are His people…His sheep…His representatives here on earth. He leads us…He provides for us…guides us…comforts us…protects us…prospers us. He is the source of all of our blessings.
Has a grumbling, complaining person every really led anyone to God? When was the last time you told someone what God has done for you? Be enthused to tell everyone of God’s blessings for your life! Be just a NOBODY, who tells EVERYBODY, about SOMEBODY, who can save ANYBODY!
Now those are powerful attitudes of gratitude!
PRAY WITH ME:
Holy Father, we come to you with grateful hearts, singing praises of thanksgiving to your Holy name. We raise our hands on high and exclaim our love for you. We call out loudly so all will hear how our lives have been blessed by you. We ask that we might teach others to come to know your love and receive your mighty blessings. And we pray all these things in the name of your son, Jesus Christ.