Last month we talked about holiness that is expressed through caring for one’s health. It is important to remember to use all the advice that was given in the last anointing service, to what you have heard to practice. In the month of October, we shall study the following values more thoroughly: the ability to see and recognize the favours done for us as well as the desire and skills to give thanks for them. This will help us to perfect gratitude, and make it our lifestyle.
TOPIC: “TO BE ALWAYS GRATEFUL MEANS TO ALWAYS BE HAPPY”
When reading the Bible story about the ten lepers (Luke 17:12-19), we see the deplorable statistics, which, unfortunately, is still relevant in our time. Only one out of ten former seriously ill group of lepers came back to thank Jesus the Mentor, who granted them the miracle of healing. This story teaches us what we should not be like. Unfortunately, only 10% of people have the capacity to be grateful, the other 90% are either too selfish, or too arrogant to utter the kind and strong words “thank you”. The most common sin of ingratitude is shown towards God. We are sinful in this area. Most of the times we do not even think of thanking God for the rain, the sun, air, friends, parents, and people close to us.
Gratitude lays the way for happiness, health, and success, which is why it is important that we develop this quality in us. And this is the purpose of my teaching today. I would like to direct you and to help understand when and how we are supposed to show gratitude. For only he who is grateful for what he has received, is worthy of the next blessing.
How to cultivate a grateful heart
- Thank God for your salvation every day.
- Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” 1 Chronicles 16:28, 29
- Make a list of what you are grateful to God for. “Time dedicated to requests demands time for gratitude also”, Vladislav Gzhegorchik.
- Thank God for your parents in addition to thanking your parents themselves. “A child shows gratitude to his parents through obedience and honour”, Katherine II.
- Give thanks for the privilege to pray and have access to God. “One should turn to God not only in times of need, but constantly, for there is not even a moment when we do not need God”.
- Always remember people who helped you even once. It is good to have a little book with a list of names for this. Honour these people with your gratitude. “For an intelligent man gratitude is not a burdensome feeling”, Edward D. Bulwer-Litton.
- Be thankful for the things that you would normally notice only after losing them: health, ability to walk, for having hands, ears, eyes, etc. “All our complaints about what we have been deprived of come out of ingratitude for what we do have”, Daniel Defoe.
- Start giving thanks for the things we take for granted: peace in the country you live in, for having food on your table, for the house we have. “Ingratitude is a kind of weakness. Eminent people are never ungrateful”, Johan Wolfgang Goethe.
- Thank relatives and family members. “The best way to thank God is to love one another”, Abdul-Baha.
- Thank people you don’t know for the help they offer, for any good word, for a smile. “Gratitude from a good heart is never a burden”, Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais.
- Be thankful for your church, for your pastor, for the people God used to bring you to Christ. “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves”, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13.
- For the Bible, discs, books; “There is no more pleasant exercise for the mind than gratitude”, Joseph Addison.
- For the power of the Holy Spirit;“Grace that is poured upon a grateful soul has never been fruitless, and gratitude as a rule brings reward” V. the great
- For the knowledge we receive in church, for access to the knowledge, for ability to learn;“Bad is the man who knows nothing and who attempts not to know anything. For two vices are joined in him”, Plato.
- For inspiration, for being prone to depression;“Gratitude is a precious medicine that heals the weaknesses in our body, soul, and spirit”.
- For the people who trust us;“Gratitude is not a right of the people being thanked, but a duty of those who are expressing the gratitude”.
- For being free and not imprisoned;“You become truly free when at each moment of your life, nothing separates you from the truth”, B. Grebenshchikov.
- For the visible and invisible battles that God is taking us through to make us stronger;“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
- For grateful people around you; “The first step to ingratitude is searching the intentions of the benefactor”, P. Boiste.
- For your leaders and pastors; if you are a leader – for the disciples God has entrusted you to raise;
“To show gratitude in any form, even if not in the perfect form, is a duty of man before themselves as well as before those who help them”, Frederick Douglas.
Remember that Lucifer fell because of the sin of ingratitude, it was his main problem. He looked at everything from his own standpoint and thought that he had achieved everything through his own effort. When there is no gratitude, then pride and a fall are just around the corner. If God cast Lucifer out from Heaven because of ingratitude; He can do the same with us. Therefore now is the time to work on our hearts and character. Let us remember that gratitude is the ability to show honour, and that is what attracts God to man and opens any doors. Gratitude contains great power. It has a huge potential to allow us to move forward. May the Lord help us to never take good deeds towards us for granted, but to see advantages and blessings even in times of crisis in our lives. May no good human deed, no positive event in our lives remain unnoticed or unmarked by our appreciation.
“There is no better excess in life, than excessive gratitude”, Jean de La Bruyère
You are welcomed to study this topic deeper by reading the following books: “Grateful Heart”, “Celebrate People”, “All-Conquering Love” by Sunday Adelaja.
Bless, love, and thank you!
Senior pastor of
The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations Church
Translated by Kate Popova
Edited by Kizito Leacock