(GR)ATTITUDE – Gratitude 101: Be Thankful
Gratitude 101: Be Thankful
As mentioned previously, the Scriptures have much to say about thanksgiving. So much so that one out of every six Psalms reminds us to be thankful. Ps 7:17 I will thank the LORD for his righteousness; I will sing about the name of the LORD Most High.
Not to be outdone by the Psalmists, the whole Bible mentions thank or thanksgiving over 150 times. Intrinsically, we know that God desires His followers to be thankful people. So let’s start from the beginning. Gratitude 101—be(ginning) of thankfulness.
Be Thankful – The heartbeat of the living (Isaiah 38:18-19) In the latter portions of Isaiah, we meet a king named Hezekiah. Hezekiah was a good king, not like his father, King Ahaz. One day Hezekiah became terminally ill, and the Lord instructed him to “set his house in order.” In response, the king turned his face to the wall and poured his heart out to the Lord, who answered Hezekiah’s petition and gave fifteen more years of life. What you will find in Isaiah 38 is part of Hezekiah’s response to Yahweh’s salvation. –Read Isiah 38:18-19–
Hear the words of a dead man who has a new lease on life. Let’s start with those who cannot praise God with thanksgiving– those who are dead. Sheol cannot thank and death cannot praise His holy name. When you die, it’s too late!
For Hezekiah, such a death represented eternal separation from Yahweh, the very One he wants to thank. Sin deprives you of the privilege of being thankful.
For those who see death as only a future reality or a scare tactic of the screwed evangelist, the New Testament echoes the refrain of Isaiah: Eph 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins. Death is a present condition of the sinful.
Gratitude 101: Ingratitude is the heartbeat of death.
Satan has a heart of ingratitude, don’t be like the prince of darkness.
If death cannot praise Yahweh, the living, only the living can be thankful. To be grateful, you must be alive. This verse can also be translated, “the living one, even the one who lives again, it is he who will praise thee!” Thankfulness is the heartbeat of a man who lives again.
Ephesian 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
Gratitude 101: If ingratitude is the heartbeat of death, thankfulness is the heartbeat of the person who is made alive.
A Tennessee farmer once said, “What comes up in the bucket is usually what’s down in the well.” So thankfulness springs eternally from the well of Jesus Christ; it’s who we are! By spiritual birthright, Jesus’s children are gratefully adopted into a eternal family and given a heart of deep abiding thankfulness.
Gratitude 101 – Be alive
When you, by faith, receive God’s free gift of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, something fundamentally changes. You receive abundant life, and you share a new heavenly wardrobe.
Be Thankful – Saint’s clothing (Colossians 3:12, 15) Col 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience …15 And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.
The word “put on” means to wear a garment. Dear Christians, because you are made holy and dearly loved, put on saint’s clothing.
Gratitude 101– When you wear saint’s clothing, you become thankful.
Be thankful because Jesus has freed you from the power of darkness and transferred you into the kingdom of His eternal rule. The Messiah clothes you with thankfulness.
Be thankful because the Lord has chosen you. In Christ, God knows you and calls you by name. The Messiah clothes you with thankfulness.
Be thankful because Jesus takes your sinful stained garments and makes you holy. Though your sin was scarlet, you have been made holy and washed white as snow. The Messiah clothes you with thankfulness.
Be thankful because Jesus dearly loves you. In a world filled with hate and hurt, the Messiah dearly loves you. There is no greater love than this, that a friend would lay down his life for another. The Messiah clothes you with thankfulness.
Be thankful because the peace of Christ rules in your heart. The peace of Jesus doesn’t affect, help, or assist, it rules! Where peace rules, thankfulness is found. Jesus’ peace is much more than a lack of conflict. His peace is the restoration of wholeness. Believers should be as thankful as refugees who have escaped the bondage of a repressive culture and have found refuge in a land of freedom and opportunity. The Messiah clothes you with thankfulness.
Gratitude 101– Dear Christians, because you are made holy and dearly loved, put on saint’s clothing – the sacred tunic of thanksgiving.
Jared Wilson illustrates Two Phases of Gratitude for Our Salvation:
Imagine you are driving down the road and your car stalls at a railroad crossing. You are understandably nervous as you try to reignite the car's engine, but you become even more so when you see a train turn the corner. The train engine's horn is blaring, and the engineer has thrown on the brakes, but you are too close, and he's coming too fast. The train is rushing toward you, and you know you're going to be hit. And you are.
Suddenly and from behind. A man in a truck behind you has decided to ram into your car and push you off the tracks, even as he is killed by the impact in the very spot you once occupied.
You get out of the car, shaken and still frightened, in shock over your rescuer's sacrifice. Yet, you are grateful in a way that you've never been grateful before because a stranger gave his life for yours.
This is what salvation looks likes. Jesus gave his life for yours. He willingly laid down his life that yours might be saved.
You feel woozy, so you sit down on the trunk of your car, and as you're trying to retrieve your cell phone from your pocket to call 911 and marveling at how minor damage the violent shove did to the rear bumper, you hear a whimper from inside.
You didn't know that before you'd left the house, as your kids were playing hide-and-seek, your youngest son decided to hide in the trunk of your car. As you open it up frantically and discover that he is miraculously unharmed, you suddenly realize the total greatness of the loss you almost suffered. Your gratitude, your amazement, your new outlook on life take a giant leap forward.
This is a glorious picture of the gospel. The more you realize what Yahweh has done for you, in you, and through you, the greater the gratitude. It’s as if the gratitude of heaven never ends!
Be Thankful—understanding that Jesus rescued you. That God sent his one and only Son, who died on a cross and traded his life for yours.
Be Thankful– understanding more and more the depth of his salvation. For the one who has tasted and seen that the Lord is good, the more you know of God’s lovingkindness, the more profound your gratitude, the more magnificent your appreciation, and the greater your affections for the things of God. Thankful doesn’t stop when you give your life to Jesus; that’s just the beginning.
Gratitude 101– the heartbeat of the living. Have you been born again? 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins. Ephesian 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
If you want to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior you can do so using words like this: My life is broken—I recognize its because of my sin. I need You. I believe Christ came to live, die and was raised from the dead to rescue me from my sin. Forgive me. I turn from my selfish ways and put my trust in You. I know that Jesus is Lord of all, and I will follow Him.
Gratitude 101– Dear Christians, because you are made holy and dearly loved, will you put on saint’s clothing – the sacred tunic of thanksgiving today? If the world only knew your faith in Jesus by the measure of your thankfulness, what would they say?
A life of gratitude begins with a redeemed attitude.