This past Sunday our church had the opportunity to hear a powerful message from Pastor Jason Hood, Thanksliving, encouraging us to have a heart that is not only thankful in a particular season but stays in a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving continually as a way of life.
Have you ever walked through a season of depression? Or maybe a season when your Spirit felt down, discouraged, or disengaged? We have all probably faced challenging seasons like this at some point in our lives. But did you know you have the power to choose joy? There is power in thanking God for what you do have, instead of what you are lacking. The enemy wants us to focus on what's wrong in our lives, but gratitude for what you do have is a powerful tool to change the way you live your life.
We serve a God who makes a way where there seems to be no way. He is a God of hope. He is a God who has promised us an abundant life and future. His goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives.
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
-Psalm 107:22 (KJV)
It’s easy for us to forget that ungratefulness is a sin- it’s truly ugly, wrong, and offensive. Knowing this should cause us to pay incredible attention to our thoughts and actions regarding being ungrateful. Paul, speaks about unthankfulness in our last days...
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
-2 Timothy 3:1-5
Oftentimes we are caught grumbling and complaining more than we are speaking about the things we are grateful for. True gratitude is an overflow of our hearts.
...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.-Matthew 12:34 (NKJV)
If you are thankful, and you're living a life of Thanksliving, then communicate it. Declare your thankfulness, by doing so you are shining a light into darkness!
But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. -Hebrews 13:16 (KJV)
So how do we keep these truths close to our hearts, avoid the sin of ungratefulness, and start living a life of Thanksliving?
We offer sacrifices to God. In the Old Testament, Scripture teaches us that sacrifices of thanksgiving were made of animals, fruits, and grains. In the New Testament, Scripture teaches us that we are to offer spiritual sacrifices.
If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. -1 Peter 2:3-5
Pastor Jason provided us with these 3 Spiritual Sacrifices we can offer God. This is how we live lives of thanksliving:
1) THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
It is a Biblical command that we continually praise and worship Jesus, it is not a suggestion. God considers your praise to be very valuable! But you must enter into praise from your free will, God knows the posture of your heart.
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. -Hebrews 13:15 (KJV)
Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments. -Psalm 119:108
2) THE SACRIFICE OF PRAYER
God enjoys hanging out with a thankful heart. Just like us, God doesn’t want to hang out with someone who just ate dill pickle soup, is a sour patch kid, or is a negative Nancy. God enjoys positive, thankful, and joyful people. Tell God in prayer all the things you are thankful for, list them out and speak them out loud! Draw near to God through choosing joy and choosing thanksgiving. Rejoice in prayer!
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. -Psalm 141:2 (KJV)
In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. -1 Timothy 2:8 (NLT)
3) THE SACRIFICE OF YOU
Jesus gave His life for you. Have you given your body, your life, to Him? Are you all in with God, because He wants all of you! Are you giving everything you have and everything you do to God to be used and guided by Him? We are blessed to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on Earth.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. -Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
Maybe it’s time to evaluate your life. Are you living a life of thanksliving? Or have you let the sin of ungratefulness sneak in and take root. Are you grumbling and complaining more than you are praising and worshiping? Are you asking God for more things in your prayer life than you are saying thank you for? Does God have your whole heart? It’s never too late to choose joy, step into an attitude of gratitude, and allow thankfulness to pour out of your heart in abundance to the Lord.
This is how we shed light, overcome darkness, and defeat the enemy.
I invite you to view this message, “Thanksliving” in its entirety at this link:
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