Symptoms of Gratitude – Notes/Study Sheet

(Phil. 4:4-7)

 

Introduction:

   * Comfort can be found in Psalms. Ex. Ps.116:12&17.  * Personal sacrifice necessary to demonstrate gratitude to God.

 

1. We should be grateful for what we have.

   * Life is good in spite of hardships. Things can always be worse and God blesses us daily (Ps. 68:19).

   * Give thanks to God daily (Col. 3:17).

   * Present your bodies a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2). Our bodies are to glorify God (I Cor. 6:13).

   * God wants the sacrifice of our life, not our death. Under Old Law, sacrifices were put to death.

   * Service –

   * Worshipful service is spiritual only when characterized by conscious service to God.

   * Our thanksgiving may be for those important to us, as with Paul (Rom. 1:8; I Cor. 1:4; II Tim. 1:3; Philemon 4).

   * Must show gratitude to God, who is w/us always (Mt. 28:20).

 

2. One symptom of gratitude: praise.

   * Paul praised even in prison (Phil. 4:10).

   * Praising God is:

   * Verbal sacrifice; fruit of our lips (Heb. 13:15).

   * Praise a symptom of gratitude because it:

      - Puts the spotlight on God.                                                - Shows that we’re thankful for the things God does.

      - Evidences appreciation for what we have, even when it comes through other people.

      - Manifests thanksgiving for what we have, even when it comes through painful circumstances.

  

3. Second symptom is generosity.

   * Must give of our means to God (I Cor. 16:1-2). Our offering a strong indicator of level of gratitude & faith (Mt. 6:33).

   * We give in proportion to our blessing (I Cor. 16). One widow gave all she had (Luke 21:1-4).

   * I Thess. 5:17-18 – Do we thank God for everything?

   * Generous offerings are pleasing to the Lord (Heb. 13:16).

   * Generosity seen in Jacob (Gen. 33:11) & in a reformed thief (Eph. 4:28).

   * Generosity a symptom of gratitude because it says:

      - “I’ve been blessed & want to share it.”                           - “God has given me enough to share.”

     

4. Third symptom is contentment.

   * Defined: Satisfied or pleased with.

   * Paul understood – in whatever state he found himself in (Phil. 4:11-12).

   * We have life & are made in God’s image – we should rejoice & be content w/what we have (Gen. 1:27; Acts 17:28).

   * Life is part of God’s creation (Psalm 8:3; 19:1-6). Ancient world must’ve been magnificent (II Peter 3:6). Imagine

      how glorious Heaven will be!

   * Be thankful & content: God cares (I Pet. 5:7) & hears our prayers (II Kings 20:5). Christian’s sins blotted out (Acts

      3:19). Jesus a sin offering (II Cor. 5:21).

   * Contentment prevents us from:

      - Whining that we don’t have enough.

      - Complaining that what we do have isn’t good enough.

      - Coveting the other fellow’s possession(s) / overlooking what we have.

      - Feeling ingratitude.

   * Learn to be content “in whatsoever state I am.” (Phil. 4:11).

 

5. Serving God is a symptom of gratitude.

   * I Tim. 1:12 – Paul grateful to be in service to Christ. Proof of gratitude is more service to God!

   * Demonstrate gratitude by serving others & the Lord (Psalm 100:2-4).

   * God is calling you to service. Are you listening?

 

  

                                                                                                                                    R.W. McAlister 11/29/09 p.m.