DEVELOPING A THANKFUL HEART

DEVELOPING A THANKFUL HEART

 

Hello beloved friends. Welcome to yet another broadcast. Again, I bring you sincere felicitations from my wife and family this great season. It is really a season of Thanksgiving to The Creator. I do hope you will find enough reason to thank this Mighty King – the owner of the Universe and the giver of peace and concord.

 

The title of today’s message is, Developing A Thankful Heart.

 

DEVELOPING A THANKFUL HEART

 

We shall take our reading from 1st Chronicles 16:34.

 

1 Chronicles 16:34

 

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

 

Again we’ll be reading from The Book of Ephesians 5:18-20

 

Ephesians 5:18-20

 

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Let us pray.

 

PRAYER

 

Great FATHER in heaven, we enter into YOUR Gates with thanksgiving, and into YOUR Court with praise. YOU are greatly faithful. YOU have spared our lives up until today. Grant that YOUR people will learn to be grateful always…in JESUS Mighty Name I pray. Amen!

 

Developing a thankful heart! None of us is as thankful as we should be – although some people may be more thankful than others, anyway. We love to complain; and our attention is more on the negative. It’s very natural for that is the nature of the Fallen Man. But just like the cultivation of most virtuous, no one can instantly become thankful. You only become thankful when you habitually practice gratitude in your life. It is normally acquired by the agency of the HOLY SPIRIT. We can draw example from King David.

 

In 1 Chronicles 17:2-18 Bible says,

 

1 Chronicles 17:2-18

 

Then Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”

But it happened that night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You shall not build Me a house to dwell in. For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought up Israel, even to this day, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. Wherever I have moved about with all Israel, have I ever spoken a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’ ” ’ Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a name like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, 10 since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. Also I will subdue all your enemies. Furthermore I tell you that the Lord will build you a house. 11 And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”

15 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

16 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? 17 And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O God; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the rank of a man of high degree, O Lord God. 18 What more can David say to You for the honor of Your servant? For You know Your servant.

 

 

But you may wish to know that David started to govern Israel from the scratch. There was no state house or government house as we know today. There was no national army. There was no temple or chapel. There was no judiciary: defined judicial system. After construction of the government house and parking into it, David was bothered that he was living in a house of cedar, but The Ark of The LORD was dwelling in a tent. David conferred with Nathan The Prophet, and the prophet gave him the go-ahead to do what was in his heart. A Turning point came in the night when the LORD appeared to Nathan and directed him to go and inform David to cancel the idea of constructing a temple for him. Rather GOD spoke good of David and made promises unto him.

 

If we read from 16: Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? 17 And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O God; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the rank of a man of high degree, O Lord God. 18 What more can David say to You for the honor of Your servant? For You know Your servant. 19 O Lord, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. 20 O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

 

That was the response of David to all that The LORD has said to him through the Prophet Nathan. He went into his house. He went into his house and sat before the LORD. This is what we call intentionality. David began to chronicle GOD’s faithful actions to him. He began to give thanks unto The Most High. That’s intentional. He didn’t leave that to chance. He sat down to his house and began to narrate the faithfulness of GOD – the goodness of GOD.

 

In this season, we expect that those who give GOD thanks will be intentional about it. They will sit down and remember the good things The LORD has done for you.

 

Let me mention 7 deliberate ways to develop a faithful – or a thankful heart –a heart that gives gratitude to GOD. Seven ways!

 

  1. Regularly practice giving thanks. Let it become habitual. Make it a habit to express gratitude. Thankfulness, rather than criticism, should be our default position or setting. Thank GOD for the good things in your life. We all complain occasionally; but it is better to find things to be thankful for. This helps to rewire your brain to be as proficient at recognizing the good in your life as you are as identifying the bad. You know there are people – they only remember the bad. They remember the bad thing people did to them. They remember the bad things that have happened to them. Their brains have been wired to do that. But when you regularly practice giving thanks you rewire your brain. You see good out of every situation.

 

Thanksgiving brings a turning point in one’s life. It brings a shift. After this thanksgiving season people are going to experience a turning point in their lives. There will be a shift in the spiritual realm…in the mighty name of JESUS CHRIST. Amen!

 

  1. Express gratitude regardless of the situation. Express gratitude regardless of the situation. I want to read for you what the Bible says in Ephesians 5:18. Hear The Word of The LORD,

 

Ephesians 5:18-21

 

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,  

 

Friends, it says, giving thanks always, in all things: in all things. You cannot see the full picture of things. But we just you know that GOD is working.

 

In Romans 8:28 we also read what the Bible says. In The Book of Romans 8:28, I want to take time to read it as it is in the scriptures.

 

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

All things – all things work for good. You may not see the full picture of things, but just believe that GOD is working out the whole picture. So learn to express gratitude regardless of the situation.

 

  1. The third thing you need to learn is, learn to praise GOD when all is well. That is easy. And that, most time…that’s what we do. When all is well, praise GOD. Do not take it for granted that after all that is what GOD should be doing for you. Praise HIM. That’s what the passage says. It says, giving thanks always: in all things. Giving thanks in all. Singing, making melody, praising GOD in hymns and psalms because of what GOD is doing for you.

 

  1. Learn to see how bad experiences can produce good outcomes. Learn to see how bad experiences in your life can produce good outcomes. You may recall The Story of Joseph. You know from the first moment his brothers took him and put him into a pit. GOD started working. He did not see the full picture. He didn’t know that from that moment that situation will end up in his becoming a prime minister in Egypt. But it started on that note. You need to learn to see good from every experience. You need to have a reset of your mindset so that when you see bad you begin to believe that this way the outcome will be good: that at the end of this episode good will come out of it. That’s one way you can learn to develop a heart of gratitude. A heart of gratitude as part of the things we need to do.

 

  1. Make gratitude a part of your interactions with other people. Make gratitude a part of your interactions with other people. You know, as you interact with people, you know, make gratitude part of your interactions with them. As you do so you begin to develop the heart of gratitude. Your language will change. You’ll no longer be on the complaining side always.

 

  1. Lean unto the strength gratitude provides. Lean unto the strength gratitude provides. Yes: gratitude provides strength, because when you show gratitude you have armed the person to do more. Even in our own language Igbo People will say, if you greet someone, the one who has done good to you, the possibility is that the person will be encouraged to do more. Lean unto that strength. But when you do not show any gratitude you have disarmed that person from doing more for you. This is one of the ways through which you can develop the heart of gratitude.

 

  1. Surrender your life to JESUS. This act is an indication that you are saying, thank YOU JESUS for saving me; thank YOU for dying for me. That is the expectation of GOD.

 

Surrender your life to JESUS CHRIST. Have HIM to be your Lord and your Saviour – your King – the One that is ruling over your life. Let the government of your life be upon HIS shoulder. That’s what the bible says. That the government will be upon HIS shoulders. Allow JESUS CHRIST to govern your life. You’ll get tired of governing yourself.  That’s how to develop a heart of gratitude. When you allow the owner of your life to govern you, to rule you, to determine what you do, what you say, your lifestyle, your attitude…and that will show that you are grateful to HIM.

 

In conclusion of this message, thanksgiving is a superpower. It enables us to see past our experiences and embrace how GOD is moving. Thankful people also empower other with their perspective when they are drawing strength from the gratitude. That can also be your own experience.

 

In this season of thanksgiving never cease to develop the heart of gratitude. As you do so you will see GOD work more in your life; for that’s why HE created us. We are HIS people and HE expects that we live a thankful life always.

May GOD bless you as you imbibe these seven points that will help you in developing a heart of gratitude.

 

 

Let us pray.

 

PRAYER

 

Heavenly FATHER, The FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, thank YOU for bringing us into a new season like this: the season of thanksgiving; and grant O GOD our FATHER, that we too will develop a heart of gratitude throughout this period and beyond, and always be filled with gratefulness unto YOU for the life YOU have given to us and for all that YOU do for us. Help us to see good coming from every situation…in JESUS mighty name we pray. Amen! 

 

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