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May 06, 2018

Transformational Gratitude

Transformational Gratitude

Series: Transformation

Category: Sunday Morning

It's no secret that an attitude of gratitude makes a huge difference in our long-term well being. Even the "secular" world agrees on this. But how much does gratitude really matter to God?

It is a scientific fact that an attitude of gratitude makes us happy. Keeping a gratitude journal where you spend five minutes a day writing down all you are grateful for will increase your well-being by more than 10%. That is the same impact as doubling your income!

Opening Scripture:
Psalm 100:4-5
   Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.

The beginning of gratefulness is the knowing and receiving the enormous love of God.

Jeremiah 31:3   The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.

Story of the 10 Lepers

Luke 17:11-18   While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”

Leprosy was the AIDS of the old world. Lepers where the scourge and the pity of the land. 

In Jesus’ day, leprosy was incurable, repulsive to all who saw the person, and was the physical counterpoint to sin.

Not since Elijah had a leper been cleansed, until Jesus.

From a distance, the lepers cry out for mercy, and Jesus does what they ask.

Often, we begin our conversations with God the same way.

  -  Jesus, heal me.

  -  Jesus, fix me.

  -  Jesus, listen to me.

Notice that Jesus didn’t rebuke them, ignore them, or correct them. 

When we live without a properly focused gratitude, we fail to have gratitude. 

Gratitude is simply a feeling of happiness that comes from appreciation. 

It blesses God when we are grateful.  It matters to God!

One leper, who was a Samaritan,was the one whose gratefulness results in worship.

vs. 16   And he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.

Notice that Jesus’ first response was not about the one who returned but about the nine who did not. Our gratefulness matters to God.

The lesson we see is that we have no right to withhold from Him what He obviously values.

Psalms 50:23   “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18   In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Here’s a very practical exercise for those who struggle with a grateful heart.

  -  Start a gratefulness journal:  for 5 weeks, write down the things you are grateful to God for.

  -  Return to Him, recite these things, and worship Him.

  -  Do this for a week and take a reading of your gratefulness at the end of the week.

Remember, the beginning of worship is a grateful heart.