The Challenge of Gratitude

Here are the notes from Sunday’s message The Challenge of Gratitude which is part of our continuing series, The Challenge of the New Testament.  The audio will be available later in the week here.

The Challenge of Gratitude

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The Big Idea:  God is a reason for thanksgiving in all circumstances.

1.  ALL is a small word with big coverage.

2.  God is greater than we are.  Gratitude battles pride.

The absence of gratitude toward God is the first step down a slippery slope away from God.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glo- rified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking be- came futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Romans 1:20-21

3. God is greater than our circumstances.  Gratitude battles despair.

“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”  Ephesians 5:3-4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and peti- tion, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:4-7

4. Gratitude is not just personal it is communal.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”  Romans 12:15

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men-the testimony given in its proper time.  1 Timothy 2:1-7

“If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified. 1 Corinthians 14:16-17

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
1 Corinthians 10:14-17

5.  Spontaneity is great.  But there are seasons in our lives when we need to put thanks into practice by creating a trigger for thanks-giving.

__________  Memorize the verse.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

__________  Create an emotional trigger.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions…”  Ephesians 6:18

__________  Create a scheduled trigger.  (example:  Mealtimes.)

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.”  Matthew 14:19

__________  Plan on sending thank-you notes regularly.

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:12-15

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s