Have a Heart of Gratitude
This Sunday Jamal thought us about having grateful hearts.
Looking back on your past week - how you've spent your time, energy and thoughts - what has been your greatest priority?
Thanksgiving Day is a nice national tradition to remind everyone the benefits of practicing gratitude. Are there any thanksgiving traditions your family keeps?
In addition to inspiring the congregation to stay grateful, and offering some advise for doing so, Jamal warned about the dangers of having ungrateful hearts. Our ancestors in the faith, like all humans, fell victim to ingratitude. The Church remembers the Israelites wilderness experience so that we don't repeat their mistakes, and to help us repent when we do make their same mistakes.
READ Psalm 95:7b-11
Today, if you hear His voice:
Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the wilderness
where your fathers tested Me;
they tried Me, though they had seen what I did.
For 40 years I was disgusted with that generation;
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray;
they do not know My ways.”
So I swore in My anger,
“They will not enter My rest.”
Though the Israelites had seen what God did, He also says they did not know His ways. How can people be witness to God's works of redemption, and yet not trust him in their circumstances?
How can understanding God's ways, rather then only remembering what he has done, help you remain grateful in trying times?
2) Although negative circumstances, like tragedy, strife, and discomfort can steal our gratitude; sometimes positive circumstances like privilege, ease, comfort can be just as dangerous to our thankfulness. If we aren't careful we can become convinced that the blessings we enjoy in Christ are something we deserve.
READ Matthew 18:23-28
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[a] was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
How does remaining grateful for the life God has given you affect your relationships?
Because you are strive to be obedient to Christ do you deserve to be a member of his family more than those who are disobedient?
Bringing it Home
Jamal encouraged us all to be grateful for God's mercy and grace. Thank God each day for one thing he has saved you from (Mercy) and one thing he has given you (Grace). Try to think of something new each day.