Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gratitude must be Deliberate

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced… Psalm 105:1-5
Its Thanksgiving week and hopefully you are thinking a little more about all the blessings you have.  If you are not, then stop and take a moment to really reflect on the many blessings in your life.  Then take action to let God and those special people in your life know just how grateful you are.
Gratitude must be Deliberate 
It is not enough to be grateful TO someone, but we must also be grateful FOR something. 
Too often we don’t spend enough time reflecting upon the specific ways in which God has blessed us. But to be truly thankful, we must be grateful FOR something.
If we would not be careless with God’s blessings, we must be careful to remember them. 
The psalmist calls his people to "remember" the wonders of God. (Verse 5) He knew how prone we are to forget. He knew how easy it is for us to focus on our trials, to be weighted down with care, to overlook the many, simple blessings we enjoy in life.
O seed of Abraham, His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations…   Psalm 105:6-8In the passage above the psalmist begins to mention specifically the good “deeds” of God and that God remembered His covenant forever.  God keeps His promises to us and He does what He says He will do.  His promises are like a door prize.  If you claim it, it is yours but if you don’t claim it, it is no good to you.  You have to believe and claim the promises of God and then be grateful to Him for His everlasting mercy, love, and faithfulness.

Take some time to perform this simple exercise. 
1. Sometime soon (today would be best) get a piece of paper and divide it into three columns. 
2. Give each of the columns one of the following headings: God, People, Things
3. Then, begin to list the things under each column for which you can be thankful. Don’t rush through it. Take time to remember. 
4. When your list is completed, take it before God in prayer and deliberately, one by one, thank Him for the things on your list. 
5. Then, you might want to thank the people on that list for how they have been a blessing. Write them a note, call them on the phone, or give them a hug the next time you see them. 

There is so much to be thankful to God for.  His faithfulness to keep His promises, His loving kindness, His mercy, His grace, His sacrifice to give us eternal life, and the list could go on and on.  Take some time this holiday to really focus on all He is and the blessings He gives.  

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. 
Hebrews 12:28-29

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