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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gratitude


Man, I am grateful.  I am full of gratitude.  The definition of grateful is feeling thankful, appreciative, wanting to return a kindness.  When you think about that last definition it really is appropriate.  Some people may rebel when hearing someone's thanks, but most people will respond positively and feel comfortable expressing their gratefulness.  Feelings are contagious.

In another blog post, I mentioned how a friend of mine shared her heart about being grateful and stating thanks.  She pointed out the mind shift which happens when one purposefully focuses on what they have versus comparing what they do not possess.  The next day, I was watching the Shaytards on Youtube and Shaycarl challenged us to pray everyday and/or express thanks.  Watch here:  Challenge

Shay mentions different ways to profess gratitude:

Pray.

Write in a journal.

Tell someone to their face how thankful you are to have them in your life.

My personal challenge is to pray every night before I go to sleep and only focus on being thankful. I am not allowed to ask for material items.  Now I will continue to pray throughout the day, but at night I would like to  end the day being thankful, focusing on all God has graciously given me.  God is gracious, meaning He gives to us without us doing anything to deserve it.  He is also merciful, meaning He shows compassion and forgives us, instead of holding things against us.  I am thankful for you God!  (And Jesus, too.)

Shay mentioned going in a closet to pray where nobody can see, and it reminded me of this passage of Scripture,

"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." - Matthew 6:1-8

How I love God, He can see through to the heart of man.

The Greek word for thankful is eucharistos, meaning, mindful of favors, grateful, thankful, pleasing, agreeable, acceptable to others, winning, liberal, and beneficent.

Here are some other verses about thankfulness:

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." - Philippians 4:6

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." - I Thessalonians 5:18

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;" - I Timothy 2:1-3

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." - Colossians 3:15

The above verses are only a small sample, being thankful is an important truth.

Some things which I am thankful for are my relationship with Joe, all of our kitties, our jobs, our friends, and the basics, like water, food, and shelter.  I am thankful for music, sunny days, chocolate, and notebooks.  I am thankful for all of you who read and interact with this blog.

What are you grateful for?
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