A Life of Gratitude, A God-Contented Heart

On Thanksgiving Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010
Sanjaynagar Church, Morning Service

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1Th 5:16-18)

Psalm 28:7. I will give thanks to him in a song.

God's will:
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph 5:18-20)

Rejoicing, Praying, and Thanksgiving are all connected.

"always... without ceasing... in everything.."

God desires us to have Him in our minds all the time.

If you love someone, you can't stay away from that person. A mother who loves her child can't stay away from that child. How much do we long to be in His presence always?

If you love someone, you do everything keeping that person in mind... whether something pleases that person or not. Is God in our mind, everytime we do something... even when we wear a dress or think about something?.

If God is in our mind every time, and we know He's with us, then joy, prayer, and thanksgiving will be continual...

A person who lives for God is satisfied with God alone.

Three States of Heart:

1. DISSATISFIED. The discontent and dissatisfied are filled with negativity, murmuring, irritability, and complaining all the time. "Oh, if I had that" or "Oh, if I had this" ...etc. The desire never quenches and therefore, such life is without gratitude. The Israelites lived such lives and perished in the wilderness (1 Cor.10). Unless we learn to be content, we cannot appreciate God's gifts for our lives. Some people live lives like black holes. Their gravitational pull is so strong that they have been called the graveyard of the stars. They pull everything inward, even light can't escape their peripherals remain discontented and ever negative. Such are so contagious in their negativity that people coming in their contact become negative as well. But, those who are filled with thanksgiving and praise spread the positive fragrance of God. Sometimes God has to put us in darkness to let us know the importance of light. Let's start counting His blessings and give thanks for them.

2. SELF-SATISFIED. This is a dangerous position. Since, people in this category are satisfied with what they're doing without considering whether they are living lives that are pleasing to God or not. That was the condition of Israelites in Jeremiah's time and he had to warn them:
Do not trust in deceptive words and say, "This is the temple of the LORD , the temple of the LORD , the temple of the LORD !" If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever.

(Jer 7:4-7)

Their feelings were their reference point of satisfaction. The wrong-doer who feels that "God is not going to judge me," or "I'll escape somehow" lives in this dangerous zone of self-complacency. Our nod of approval must come from God, our Master alone. Nothing else can measure the appropriateness of our satisfaction.

3. GOD-SATISFIED. It is the blessing of those who abide in Christ and live in God's presence. No earthly possession or experience can match the satisfaction that comes from the Creator rejoicing in His creation. Remember the parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15), what joy God has on seeing a sinner converted, a lost sheep found. Such sheep lives in the house of the Master and is daily loaded with gifts from His bounty. Such sheep is God-satisfied.

We have reason to be joyful, prayerful, and thankful because we are the children of God. Let's rise and offer Him thanks...


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