Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Attitude of Gratitude ....series




The "attitude of gratitude" is something that desperately needs to be cultivated in our hearts, our homes, and our society. Its presence brings in its train a host of other blessings, while its absence has profound, lethal repercussions. Consider with me some of the contrasts between a grateful heart and an ungrateful heart:

A grateful heart is a full heart, while an unthankful heart is an empty one.

No matter how little he may actually have compared to others, a grateful person enjoys a sense of fullness. But no matter how much a person may in fact have, if he is not a thankful person, he will live with a gnawing sense of emptiness. I picture an unthankful heart as being something like a container with a hole in it that causes all its blessings to leak out! The grateful person has unlimited capacity to truly enjoy God's blessings, while the ungrateful person can't enjoy the blessing he does have.
 
The Apostle Paul provides us with a powerful illustration of this principle. The book of Philippians is really a rather lengthy "thank-you" note, written to express gratitude for what the believers in Philippi had done to minister to Paul's material needs while he was traveling and planting churches.  
 

 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving; except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need
(Philippians 4:15-16 NIV).
 
having expressed his heartfelt appreciation for their most recent gift, Paul, writing from the bowels of a Roman prison, and deprived of all but the barest of necessitates, makes a remarkable statement: "I have all, and abound: I am full..."(Phil. 4:18 KJV)! Who but a very grateful person could have assessed his incarcerated conditions with those words?  
 
IF we are honest, I think most of us would have to say that our correspondence in such a situation would certainly have included a litany of the sacrifices we were making, the price we were paying to serve the Lord, the creature comforts we were lacking, and the physical and emotional needs we were facing.
 
But, not Paul! From  heart overflowing with gratitude, he cries out, "I have all, and abound; I am full"! In fact, so abounding does he believe God's goodness to be that he proceeds to reassure his reader that there is more than enough for hem as well; "but my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19 KJV).
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Come back next week! :o)
 
 
 


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