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Five Keys to a Grateful Heart

1 Thess. 5:15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

 

See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

The first key to a grateful heart is found in pursuing what is good. As we think on, speak about, and act out what is good it is impossible to seek to fulfill our own desires and lusts. This is how we overcome greed. And this is the first step in living a life of true and lasting gratitude to God for His grace.

Rejoice always.

The second key to a grateful heart is rejoicing always. Learning to rejoice always is walking by faith in the very character of God, and we cannot do this apart from gratitude. When we live like this, we will give thanks! We will glorify God for all that He has done and all that He is. We will praise Him and continue to walk by faith as our faith is proved and strengthened. And we will have joy. It is all tied together. We cannot be grateful without joy and we cannot have joy without being grateful.

Pray without ceasing.

The third key to a grateful heart is to pray without ceasing. Worship does not draw attention to the worshiper – it should draw attention only to the One being worshipped. And so just as with prayer also with any act of worship we must be prepared. We must be deliberately ready to worship, to praise, to pray, and to hear and do the Word as it is preached. Gratitude requires open communication and open communication with God precludes self-serving sin.

Do not quench the Spirit.

The fourth key to a grateful heart is to not quench the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit is to be filled with the Spirit, that is to be under His control and direction. That is why we must pray without ceasing – for to cease praying is to stop listening to the One who leads and directs us. And as He leads us and directs us and controls us, we learn that to walk in the Spirit means that we abandon our lust. We walk in surrender, gratitude, and freedom. We are enabled to live above the battle and to walk in victory.

These are our options then. We will quench and grieve the Spirit, or we will walk in and be filled with the Spirit. Neither of these are accidental, they are both deliberate. We will choose which we will do. We will exercise our will for self or for sacrifice.

Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

The fifth key to a grateful heart is to receive the Word with discernment. We can sum it up by saying that in order for our hearts and minds to be focused appropriately on God instead of ourselves, and for our attitude to be one of gratitude and dependence on Him, we must not only hear faithful Bible teaching and preaching, but we must obey the Word we hear. The foundation for gratitude is found in sound doctrine and application from the Word for every day life. When we learn all we have been given in Christ we have to be grateful. It gives us an outline of how to pursue what is good). It gives us reason to always rejoice. It motivates unceasing prayer. It illuminates the straight and narrow way. It helps us maintain an attitude of gratitude. We have nothing, can do nothing, and are nothing without Him. He is our everything. We must thank Him for all He is and has done for

The blessed man is a grateful man. He is the man who knows he has been saved by grace. He does not deserve salvation. He cannot earn salvation. He is unworthy. And yet God has saved Him. We know Jesus! What more do we need when it comes to giving thanks?

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

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