Series: Thankful in all things: 1. Cultivating a spirit of Thankfulness

normanrSermons0 Comments

Sermon Notes

Two old friends met each other on the street one day.  One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears.  His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you:  three weeks ago, my uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand dollars, free and clear.”

“Sounds to me that you’ve been very blessed.”

“You don’t understand!” he interrupted.  “Last week my great-aunt passed away.  I inherited almost a quarter of a million from her.”

Now the man’s friend was really confused.  “Then, why do you look so glum?”

“This week . . . nothing!

Cultivating A Spirit Of Thankfulness.  The month of November is like to me the Thanksgiving time. My mind starts thinking holidays, family, fun, thanksgiving dinner, love, etc. Really this is the time that my mind really begins to do an inventory of my life. I begin to think about things that I am so thankful and grateful for. 

I went out this past Friday night with some of my grandkids. I took them to dinner and said order whatever you want $10 limit and we had a blast talking and laughing. Then for desert we went to Yogurtini and I said get what you want. I was so thankful that I could do that. I was so blessed to be able to spend time with them. We got home and my son shows up with his two kids and they ran up to my door yelling grandpa. Wow!! What an amazing feeling to be loved and appreciated. They came in and we watched movies and had fun together. 

I think one of the reasons why many people don’t know the amazing feeling of thankfulness is because we has humans lean towards the negative side of life. We see all the things we don’t have and speak about all the things we feel are wrong in our life. When we see and speak about the negative or lack in our life we tend to get stuck in the yuck. Stuck in the yuck.

Stuck in the Yuck. 

 “in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 AMP

“and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NCV

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV

I use the word Cultivating. It means: to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops  also :to loosen or break up the soil about (growing plants) :to foster the growth of  :to improve by labor, care, or study.

The word cultivating means to prepare, loosen, break up the soil in order to plant for a harvest. To improve by labor, care or study, like to cultivate your thinking. 

Our thinking must be renewed. We must do an inventory of the stuff that is sitting in our minds just sitting there taking up space waiting to sabotage your joy, peace and success and happiness. There is junk in our mind that must be replaced. 

Our minds are filled with Yuck, when you keep the Yuck you get stuck in the Yuck and you become Yucky. A negative memory, and hurtful event in your life, a failure you keep rehearsing over and over. What you think about, dwell on and keep as a memory will cause you to be unthankful or Stuck in Your Yuck. 

God wants us to cultivate this mind this way of thinking. God says in every situation no matter what the circumstances BE THANKFUL AND CONTINUALLY GIVE THANKS TO GOD.

We got some fallow ground in our minds and heart. We got some stuff that needs to be cleared out over and over and over. It is like weeds in our head, choking the good memories to be made. All the Yuck we got hanging around in our thinking, stinking thinking messes with the cultivating of thankfulness. You will never be truly grateful and thankful with you living in the Yuck. 

One of the most damaging things you and I do is rehearse the offense and negative memories. When you go way back and think, blame, regret, offense, depressed, on and on you take your future backwards and get STUCK IN YOUR YUCK. 

God said in everything give thanks, in every situation no matter what the circumstances be thankful and giving thanks to God. This does not mean we thank God for bad or hurtful things or experiences. We learn how to be thankful and grateful to God no matter what we have to go thru. Learning to cultivate our thinking to think with a mind of thankfulness. 

“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”

PHILIPPIANS 4:8 AMP

What you allow your mind to think, dwell upon, will be IMPLANTED IN YOUR HEART.

God tells us how to think and what to think on. What ever you dwell on you will center your mind on it and it will be implanted in your heart. When we get STUCK IN OUR YUCK we are not nice or kind. When we get STUCK IN OUR YUCK we are disrespectful, rude, selfish, condemning, judgmental. This is not God. When you are stuck in your yuck you will not and can not be thankful. You are complaining, gripping, whining, nagging, etc.

This is intentional work. It’s like when you want to get healthy, you change by doing what must be done to accomplish the goal. Thankfulness is not in us. It must be cultivated. It must be developed. God said be thankful no matter what, in all situations and circumstances be thankful, THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOU. People always want to know the will of God for their lives. Here it is. 

“Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].”

COLOSSIANS 3:1-2 AMP

We are believer, we are disciples of Christ. It is not just a Sunday religious experience we have on Sunday. This requires us to cultivate a Christ Lifestyle. New life, means we seek the things that are above. We set our minds and keep focused habitually on the things above not on the earthly things.

I am so thankful. I am not all that I should be, but I am so thankful I am not what I used to be. I am so thankful that God gives me the opportunity to become what He wants me to be. It is a process. It is a lifestyle.

Jesus Lifestyle. Jesus died for me. He gave His life so I could create my life here today. I don’t have to pray, its a privilege I get to pray. I don’t have to come to church, it’s a privilege I get to attend church. I don’t have to tithe and give my offerings, it is a privilege I get to honor my God and thank Him and show Him how thankful I am for His blessing me and my family.

“Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.”

Romans 12:2 NCV

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