We have been saved by Grace. No work is required from us, so, nothing is needed by us to earn our place in eternity. We have no obligation to respond; however, when we do become Christians by faith alone, a natural response will take place, as depicted in the "Fruits of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-23), that show our faith to be real and impacting. The main thrust for our fruits and character development is the ability to see what we have in Christ, so we show ourselves thankful. This thankfulness is what motivates us to follow His teachings and precepts for all aspects of our lives, and for them to spill out on those around us.
Although gratitude can mean thankfulness, or to respond to a favor we have received, it is a much deeper response where our hearts are filled with gratitude for the many blessings that God gives, even when they seem small to our wants, or even though we may not be able to see them. David was a man after God's own heart, and his heart was full of praise to God, even in times of dire stress. He knew what God has done for him. He was the least in his family, and his family the least in his tribe, yet he was chosen to be king. It was something he did not earn or deserve, and even when he sinned, he saw God's Grace restore him (Psalm 34:1; 107:15).
As a Christian, we must strive to be more thankful to Him and do our utmost to live up to the call given to us in Heb 13:15, "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." We need to have the mindset that we are merely sojourners here on this earth, that is we are just passing through, preparing ourselves for our true home in heaven. The result will be a life filled with praise to God, as we will see Him, and not just our circumstances. Perhaps we will then be able to appreciate His goodness to us and have even more praise to and for His name. This praise will overflow to others instead of the rotten fruits of Gal 5: 19-21! Let our worship be true because of what He has done for us! Let us give our loud expression to Him! Praise God forever and ever (Psalm 150)!
God's plan for us is not just our salvation; it is our growth, too. Do not neglect your growth in Him!
How would you define Gratitude? Are you a person who dispenses Gratitude?
- What are the things that cause you to have ingratitude?
- How does the lack of Gratitude counteract Gratitude?
- What happens to our relationship, with God, and others, when we are disapproving, un-appreciating, and negative with others?
- When have you been filled with Gratitude the most?
- In what situation did you fail to have Gratitude, when you should have?
- What issue is in your life that would improve with being more Grateful?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put Gratitude into action in a specific instance. Such as, how would Gratitude improve your worship of our Lord? What do you need to do to realize, to the fullest extent possible, how indebted you are to Christ for your salvation? In addition, because of that, what should be your response to Him and to others around you?