By Garry Knighton
Church of Christ/North  - Shreveport, La.
The Spirit of Gratitude

   INTRODUCTION:

       A. We live in a world where many people take too much for granted.  

            1. There was a time when people were more grateful for the service and
                work of others.

                 a. That was a time when God was more evident in our nation's lifestyle.

       B. We must learn to have a spirit of gratitude in every phase of life.  

           1. This is an instructed virtue.

       C. In this lesson today, let's note some things about gratitude so that we can 
            become even more aware of the importance of having THE SPIRIT OF 
            GRATITUDE.
 

   I. SOME GREEK WORDS TO CONSIDER.

       A. CHARIS - "on the part of the receiver, a sense of the favor bestowed, a
            feeling of gratitude..."

            1. A feeling of gratitude.

                a. Romans 6:17.

             2. Sometimes signifies to be thankful.

                 a. Luke 17:9. 

             3. Also translated "grace."

       B. EUCHARISTIA - "to give freely; denotes gratitude; giving of thanks..."

            1. Acts 24:3.

            2. I Corinthians 14:16.

            3. Ephesians 5:4.

       C. EXOMOLOGEO - "signifies to make acknowledgment, whether of sins (to 
            confess), or in honor of a person..."

            1. In honor of a person.
                
                a. Romans 14:11.

                b. Romans 15:9.

           2. In the Lord's address to the Father.

               a. Matthew 11:25.

       D. ANTHOMOLOGEOMAI - "to acknowledge fully, to celebrate fully in praise
            with thanksgiving..."

           1. Used of Anna - Luke 2:38.

  II. SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT GRATITUDE.

       A. "One of the most admirable traits a person can have is that of a well
            developed sense of gratitude."

       B. It is disheartening to see someone accept a kindness without showing a
           sense of gratitude.

       C. A sense of gratitude will enable others to more graciously assist you or
            others in the future.

 III. SOME VERSES THAT REFLECT GRATITUDE.  

       A. Deut. 28:47-48 - "(47) Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully
            and gladly in the time of prosperity, (48) therefore in hunger and thirst, in
            nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends
            against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed
            you." 

       B. I Chron. 23:30 - "They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise
            the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening."

       C. Psalm 79:13 - "Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise
            you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise."

       D. Psalm 100:4 - "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
            give thanks to him and praise his name."

       E. Psalm 119:62 - "At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws."

       F. Psalm 150:6 - "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."

       G. Malachi 2:2 - "If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my 
            name," says the Lord Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse 
            your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set
            your heart to honor me." 

       H. Luke 17:18 - "Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this 
            foreigner?"

         I. Romans 1:21 - "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." 

       J. Ephesians 5:20 - "always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the 
           name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

       K. I Timothy 4:4 - "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be 
            rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,"

       L. Hebrews 13:15 - "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a 
           sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name."

  IV. SOME PRACTICAL WAYS TO DEVELOP A SPIRIT OF GRATITUDE.

       A. Thoughtfulness.  

            1. "Thoughtfulness is one of the primary factors in developing a sense of 
                gratitude.

                a. Take note of any kindness done.

                b. Recognize the spirit of consideration which prompted the action.
 

           2. Thoughtfulness is developed by thinking of others before you think of
                yourself.
   
       B. Consider the value of the other person's time or effort.  
  
           1. This will help you put their act of kindness in your perspective.
   
       C. Never be judgmental about someone's action toward you.    
  
           1. Remember:  God will judge their heart.

       D. Make a concerted effort to let someone know how you feel.

       E. Never, never display an air of phoniness or insincerity.
  
       F. Make yourself a note, mental or physical, when you first think of it.  (If you wait
           you won't.)

       G. Apply these principles to God, family, friends, authorities, etc.
 
   CONCLUSION:

      A. Do you have a grateful spirit?

      B. Can you see some room for improvement in your gratitude?

      C. Are you willing to do anything about it?