We’ve all sung praises. We’ve sung songs expressing our thankfulness already this morning.
God calls us to be holy as he is holy, to be merciful as he is merciful, to be kind and to be patient… We don’t read “be ye thankful as God is thankful.” God isn’t thankful in the same way that we are to be thankful.
Thankfulness and praise are human responses, parts of worship to one who is greater than we are – praise to the Almighty. What do we have that he hasn’t given to us already? He has been so kind to each of us and given each of us so much…
Characteristics of Grateful Christians
- The Grateful Christian knows God
In the verses we read we see, “know ye that the Lord is God?”
Hebrews 11:6 – we must believe in God, believe he is who he says he is.
Jesus tells the story of the Pharisee who stood and prayed for himself, thanking God that he wasn’t like others or even like the publican. The publican on the other hand wouldn’t even lift his head up to heaven, he prayed “God be merciful to me a sinner…” Jesus summed the story up by saying that the publican was justified… the Pharisee on the other hand didn’t.
The Pharisees words sounded like a prayer “God I thank thee…” before quickly turning into an “advertisement” for himself. It’s like he is telling God to sit up and take notice him.
This condition of the Pharisee is common. He knew things about God. He had the evidence of God. He acknowledged that, but didn’t glorify him as God.
2 Timothy 2:1-26
Jesus is not just the Savior. We must know him as our savior. Our deliver. Our protector. Our provider.
- A Grateful Christian Knows What God Has Done
This is what the publican got and the Pharisee missed.
The awareness of Gods gifts, grace, mercy and help are so very important in the life of the Christian.
This doesn’t mean that we know and have experienced everything. But we must be learning and experiencing the presence of God in an ongoing manner.
One of the ten lepers who was healed as he went to the priests turned back and acknowledged that God had worked a miracle. He fell down at Jesus feet and gave him thanks. This leper knew exactly what it was that Jesus had done for him.
Did the other nine feel like the “deserved” to be healed? We don’t know obviously, but we do know what one of these lepers did.
The grateful Christian thanks God for what he has done and for who he is.
For the Christian thanksgiving is a joyful response. It is worship.