Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Five Ws of Gratitude

Operation Shoebox gifts help needy all over the world.
Pastor Brad opened with this thought: Gratitude is something more than our circumstances. Gratefulness is a bi-product of walking with and being aware of God's presence.

The Christmas program will be 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 13.
This coming Saturday we will be decorating the Christmas tree here. Join us at 9 for coffee and at ten we will decorate.together.
There will be a Thanksgiving dinner here at the church for if you have no where to go and Chef Leonard will look forward to service you. Call to give us a head count if you think you will join us.

Darlene played "Give Thanks" to usher us into worship, which was led by our youth today.

After the offering was taken, Bard invited members of the congregation to share things for which they are grateful. Many shared from the heart a whole range of matters, then we prayed.

The Five Ws of Gratitude

Instead of the who, what, when, where and why of story telling, Brad shared the Five Ws that make up that important attitude called Gratitude.

Governor Bradford made the first Thanksgiving Proclamation. And every president since has issued this proclamation. But it's not just presidents proclaiming, rather many New Testament writers have instructed us to give thanks. This is God's idea.

What happened to Gratitude?  Romans 1:21 indicates that fallen man ceased being thankful.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

In a world where there is such brokenness as we've seen in Paris, it is difficult. But Psalm 42 shows that this is nothing new. The Psalmist writes, "My tears have been my food day and night." But when he did not feel like giving thanks, he chose to remember God's goodness  Remember who God is. Remember how He has showered us with goodness in various ways.

When we remember, we gain hope and strength.

Brad then shared that one of the things that has occurred in our day is a sense of entitlement. Somehow, people feel they deserve more. We've become spoiled. This attitude corrupts our gratitude.

Every good a perfect gift comes from our Father. What we need to do is turn our blessings into praise, for all we have is a gift from God.

In Luke 11:11-18 Jesus showed mercy to ten lepers and healed them. But only one came back to say thank you.

Brad then asked, "Will you be that one who daily gives thanks to the one who gave you life? Will you be the one who gives thanks to the One who when you were a sinner sought and found you and saved you? Will you say thank you to those who have helped you in your life journey?"

When did it happen?  We take so much for granted. How could we allow this to happen?

Brad cited the Prodigal son who demanded his inheritance while he was still young. "I want it now," is a pervasive attitude in our culture today.

Waiting means that I don't get it now. We used to save money and buy things we wanted after we saved up for them. Today we don't want to defer gratification for anything.

Brad then noted the other brother in the story who also had a self-righteous attitude. "Hey, I was good, I deserve more."

Brad ended by stating why gratitude is so important. Jesus touched, healed, shared, gave... and when we were lost, He found us and said, "I love you." And when you are in desperate need of grace, He says, "I love you." In a hundred ways Jesus says, "I love you."

In closing we sang together the song that began our service, "Give Thanks" after which we moved the chairs and set up the volley ball net for the first time in our new sanctuary.

* * * *

Hey, the new gym floor is installed... and there's volley ball!

No comments: