The value of our church in the month of October is praise, worship and gratitude.
Let us examine the lives of King David and Apostle Paul as examples.
“And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet. And the king said unto him, Where is he? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lodebar. Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am? Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.” (2 Samuel 9:1-9)
The actual nature of a man is not seen by the way he worships in church but how he behaves towards others in everyday life. We can see a truly thankful heart from David’s example.
In the above story which involved Mephibosheth, we see David’s precious deed.
When he replaced Saul as king, he still remembered his friend Jonathan, who had been very kind to him. Despite the fact that Jonathan had since died, David decided to show gratitude and kindness, even to one of Jonathan’s surviving relatives.
He did not have to do this; besides, Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul, the person who had tried to kill David. All these facts testify to us about the depth of gratitude which resided in David’s heart and the virtue of his soul. David was a great man whose life can provide many lessons.
People tend to be grateful, provided the one who helped them is still within their proximity; however, very few consider finding creative ways to appreciate the help of those who are no longer near them or even no longer alive.
Unfortunately, some people are quick to forget about the kindness that was once shown to them. The genuinely grateful person is always thankful; he remembers the help and kindness he received. If a person is grateful towards other people, how much more is his heart grateful toward God?
David was a man of God in every way; his heart was grateful and generous.
Despite the fact that Saul by his persecution brought him such a great deal of trouble, David continued to behave honorably towards Saul’s descendants.
He remembered the kindness he had received instead of Saul’s evil doing.
As a king caught up in multiple governmental affairs, David deliberately invested time to seek out at least one person from Jonathan’s family to show mercy to. David remembered that though Saul had been trying to kill him, still, it was because of Saul that he rose to the throne and became revered by the people. He gave a direct order to locate descendants of Saul and Jonathan who were now deceased, having one purpose in mind; to show mercy and gratitude. This reveals the magnitude of greatness in David’s soul.
“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls” – Aesop
God called David a man after His own heart, (1Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) and David repeatedly proved himself worthy of such high esteem. The grandson of Saul and son of Jonathan -Mephibosheth- was lame and called himself a “dead dog”. But it was important to David not only to whom he showed kindness but Who was watching him. He understood that God saw his expression of gratitude.
When you render gratitude and favor to man, realizing that he cannot repay that gratitude, God then favors you. Even if the one to whom you are thankful has already died or cannot receive blessings from you, you must know that God notices everything.
“Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:4)
It is necessary for God’s people to have a culture of gratitude. It is big in the heart of God. It is therefore important to consider two facts:
- First of all you should show your gratitude to God.
Sometimes we wish to be thankful just to be noticed by people, but in fact without God there would not be any people in our life to bestow help and support us. God’s view of a truly thankful person is one who shows his gratitude both to God and man. “If someone says “I love God” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20)
- The gratitude within our hearts is proven by what we do for men here on the earth.
Here is another story that reveals David’s generosity and his grateful heart:
“Now it came to pass after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his stead. And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him. But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land? Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst hard by their buttocks, and sent them away. Then there went certain, and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them: for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.” (1 Chronicles 19:1-5)
David decided to show mercy to another man, although he did not have to do this.
Remembering the blessing of the king of Ammon upon him, after his death, David decided to show his gratitude to Hanun. Instead of accepting the honor and support from David, Hanun’s servants humiliated and dishonored David’s messengers, and therefore David. They did not believe that there could be someone with such a sincere and thankful heart. Despite this attitude, David did not refuse to be a grateful man.
“If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.”
”In the final analysis, it is between you and God.” – Mother Teresa
David not only recalled the good that had been extended to him, but he sought various ways to express thankfulness for it. This tells us about a grateful heart which is authentic. A grateful man is always grateful both to God and to man. Such an attitude to people as David’s, prompted me to write a book about Doctor Myles Munroe after his death. (It is available in English).
Apostle Paul was also a grateful man. The 16th chapter of his epistle to the Romans, verses 4-19, is filled with gratitude to specific people for their participation in the life and ministry of the apostle and disciple of Christ! So we can see from the lives of David and Paul that all great people are grateful people.
God’s desire is that there will be more appreciative and noble people among us; those who do not forget the good done to them. For this reason I advise everyone to make a list of names of people and how they have helped you (even something small), then provide them with kindness, honor and gratitude.
Dear brothers and sisters let us supply people with the culture of gratitude. Let us make the heart of our Heavenly Father delighted!
With love and honor,
Senior Pastor of “The Embassy of God” church
Edited by Kizito Leacock
Recommended books to read:
- “Grateful heart” (Sunday Adelaja)
- “How to avoid the greatest regret of your life or why it is important to honor your parents while they are still alive” (University of life)
- ”Why you shouldn’t be offended at your parents and shouldn’t even think evil toward your mother and father” (University of life)