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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 09/09/15

Living Thankful

thanksliving

STORY: THANKSLIVING

No, it’s not a typo! Rather than celebrating Thanksgiving once a year, let’s show our gratitude by Thanksliving. We can all use a reminder to count our many blessings every day. As the old song goes, do we really name them one by one? If I were to journal my blessings, I could not find a book large enough to contain the list.  

Yet, I tend to focus on my complaints rather than my blessings. Do I have gratitude or do I merely have attitude? Every time I complain about the weather I’m really criticizing the God of the weather for not creating that day’s forecast to suit me. When I focus on my lack, I’m actually saying God isn’t providing for me. But isn’t He the Provider of all good things in my life?

A quote from Shakespeare says, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth is an ungrateful child.” I heard a pastor use this quote in a sermon. He compared the serpent to the devil and the ungrateful child to God’s children who neglect to thank and praise their Heavenly Father. This really hits home. 

American children have been accused of developing a sense of entitlement. They believe they have a right to receive certain things regardless of whether they act responsibly or show appreciation. Perhaps we, as God’s children, are also guilty of feeling entitled to His blessings. Thankfully, He loves us despite our shortcomings. When we realize He is good to us because of who He is, rather than who we are, we will come to Him just as we are and thank Him for the many showers of blessings.

STUDY: Thankful Hearts

Thanking the Gift-Giver

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. (James 1:17 NLT)

• Where do all good gifts come from?

• We can thank God as the giver of good gifts and the creator of all, for our blessings. We can also thank Him that He never _______. Isn’t it a blessing to know God stays the same when our world is ever changing around us?

Thankfulness is God’s Will

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT)

• Paul instructs us to be thankful in good circumstances. No, that’s not quite right. He tells us to be thankful in ___ circumstances. Every situation, we can be grateful because we know God will use it for good. 

• What is God’s will for those who belong to Christ Jesus?

We Have Good Reason to Thank God

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 118:1 NLT)

• Why should we be so thankful to the Lord?

• What is one example of how good He is? The second sentence of Psalm 118:1 gives us the answer.

Thanksliving is a Good Thing

It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High. (Psalm 92:1 NLT)

• We just saw that God is good and because of this we have good reason to thank Him. But Psalm 92:1 shows us that giving thanks to the Lord is good too!

• What is one way we can give thanks to Him, according to this passage?

• Our Lord enjoys our praises. How often do we take Him for granted?

STEPS:

1. Thanksliving starts by realizing we do not deserve anything. Did you complain today? For every complaint, think of two blessings. (It always takes double the positive to counteract the negative and develop a healthy habit.)

2. Thanksliving means being alert to the blessings around us every day. Today, stop your busy actions and your speeding thoughts long enough to thank God as soon as you notice a blessing. Don’t wait until the end of day to make a gratitude list. By then you might forget some of the blessings that came your way.

3. Thanksliving grows more grateful as we grow closer to the Savior. Take five minutes, first thing in the morning so it has time to shape your attitude for the rest of the day, to praise God for who He is and what He does in your life.

 

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