The Ingredients of a Grateful Heart.
Two hearts – Grateful & Ungrateful
The way you keep your tank full is to always be THANKFULL.
Where do you mostly focus?
By Pastor George Lehman
Paul shares with us in Philippians 4 insights into his heart and attitude through which he views life. (He says follow me like I follow Jesus)
Philippians 4:12 (Amp) – I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need.
I know / I also know = Not just because he read it, because he lived it.
#1 An Ability to see the Hand of God.
We must always realize that God is working on our behalf for His glory and our good.
Romans 8:28 (Amp) – And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.
We must be careful of a complaining spirit, a murmuring spirit and a critical spirit.
You will find that as a rule, those who complain and murmur about the way the ball bounces. Are usually the ones who dropped the ball! (It’s not about others it’s about you)
How can we complain and murmur with such an awesome God?!
1 Corinthians 10:10-12 (LB) – 10And don’t murmur against God and his dealings with you as some of them did, for that is why God sent his Angel to destroy them. 11All these things happened to them as examples – as object lesions to us – to warm us against doing the same things; they were written down so that we could read about them and learn from them, in these last days as the world nears its end. 12So be careful. If you are thinking, “Oh I would never behave like that” – let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin.
Numbers 21:6 (Amp) – Then the Lord sent fiery (burning) serpents among the people; and they bit the people, and many Israelites died. (23000 died by a snake bit)
It’s all a matter of focus. What’s loss (murmur & complainers) or what’s left (grateful). Eg: The kid with 3 scoop ice-cream. The top one slips off… Bending over the other scoop falls off…where you focus
Eg: There’s a thing called Mental Exclusion. – Ask to look around find anything that is red (shoes, clothes, lights, pens, etc – Okay). Then ask the question what around you was green? Our minds deliberately exclude anything that is red.
The same thing happens when we experience loss – we overlook the blessing we actually still have.
Humorous but very relevant illustration:- In Budapest, a man goes to the rabbi and complains, “Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?” The rabbi answers, “Take your goat into the room with you.” The man in incredulous, but the rabbi insists. “Do as I say and come back in a week.” A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before. “We cannot stand it, “he tells the rabbi. “The goat is filthy.” The rabbi then tells him, “Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week.” A radiant man returns to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, “Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there’s no goat – only the nine of us.” Sometimes it is when things worsen that we are reminded of how good what we already have is!
#2 An Appreciation of the Grace of God.
Philippians 4:13 (Amp) – I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
All the blessings of God on our life flow from Grace.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (Amp) - And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.
We all face difficult times. It is only the Grace of God that gives us strength to endure.
Psalm 84:11 (Amp) – For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord bestows grace and favor and honor; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
#3 Adoration of the Heat of God.
Philippians 4:4 (Amp) – Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice!
A grateful heart always rejoices in the Lord!
When we show adoration for the heart of God – This will be our actions (the ingredients of a grateful heart.)
Matthew 22:37 (Amp) – And Jesus replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
John 14:15 & 23 (Amp) – 15If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. 23 Jesus answered, “If anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep My word (teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him.
Oh how a grateful heart leaks out!!
Jesus gave this WARNING:
Revelation 2:4 (Amp) – But I have this [charge] against you, that you have left your first love [you have lost the depth of love that you first had for Me].
Jesus said: Matthew 6:21 (Amp) – for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.
The more you have a grateful heart the more you know the treasure is good within.
Don’t just drift along thinking or even hoping your love and a grateful heart will just somehow one day grow…. Be Intentional (Opsellik)
Psalm 63:1-4 (Amp) – 1O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You; My soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2So I have gazed upon You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. 3Because Your loving kindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4So will I bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
1 Chronicles 23:30 (NIV) – They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening.
May we be known as people who live with a grateful heart.
If you find you are not always a thankful person –
- Check the ingredients – What’s in you is coming out of you.
- Choose to change your ingredients