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Conspicuous Gratitude

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2021 8:00 am

Conspicuous Gratitude

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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March 31, 2021 8:00 am

The importance of developing the heart and habit of gratitude; reasons we should express clearly visible appreciation to God and others; based on 1 Thess. 5:18 and other passages.

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A whole lot of people say, I want to know what the will of God is for my life. Well, yes, there are some very specific things God wants to reveal to you about His plan to use you. But please don't ever ignore the general will of God because it is part of you fulfilling God's purpose. Do you want to know God's specific will for your life?

Start by walking in obedience to what He's already told you. Hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Destined for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd. Part of God's will for all believers in Christ is that we give thanks in all things. If you're on top of the world, give thanks.

If the world is on top of you, give thanks. Be anxious for nothing, the Bible tells us, but in all things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Pastor Paul explores the concept of a grateful heart in today's broadcast. So stay with us here if you can, or visit pastorpaul.net any time to listen on demand.

You can also download the podcast at Google Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now let's join Pastor Paul for today's message, Conspicuous Gratitude. 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 18. And it says this, in everything, give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Whole lot of people say, I want to know what the will of God is for my life.

Well, yes, there are some very specific things God wants to reveal to you about his plan to use you. But please don't ever ignore the general will of God because it is part of you fulfilling God's purpose. And we've noted two things rejoice evermore or rejoice always. We've noted pray without ceasing. And now we're on the third of these cliff notes in this short passage in everything, give thanks for this is the will of God for you.

And my premise is simple. If you want to live your best life, develop the heart and the habit of conspicuous gratitude. That's the title of this message, Conspicuous Gratitude. I want you to understand that the will of God is for you to be a grateful person. And for that to be widely known and seen and heard. Conspicuous gratitude. Let me unpack that for you in this message. Let me make some basic points.

Here's the first of them. Gratitude demonstrates honor toward God. Gratitude demonstrates honor toward God.

Stop and think about it. We live in a world where there are many people who either deny altogether the existence of God. And for those that do acknowledge there is a higher power, at least many will say, many of them take that higher power completely for granted.

This is the world we live in. Some people deny the existence of God altogether. Oh, I don't believe in God. Well, I'm sorry that you don't believe in God. God believes in you. And in him, you live and move and have your being.

And we pray that your eyes will be opened. Please understand, you could not explain a universe with life in it without a life giver. And God's nature is beyond ours. You say, well, how did he start?

No, no. God is beyond our comprehension, but we know he exists and he has shown himself in conscience and creation. Ultimately, he showed himself very emphatically in the person of Jesus Christ. And you stand on a planet that is in a solar system, that is in a vast universe created by God.

In the beginning, God, if you say in the beginning, bang, you got to tell me where the stuff came from that bang. At the end of the day, in the beginning, God, and I want you to understand that that God deserves our honor and we give him honor by being grateful to him. Gratitude demonstrates honor toward God, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. We are constantly told to practice thanksgiving to God. There are literally dozens of verses that tell us to give thanks to God throughout the scriptures. There were so many, as I was putting this message together, I said, there's no way that I could give an exhaustive list. I just decided to just grab a handful, about eight or nine verses.

Let me just share them with you real quick. In First Chronicles, chapter 16, verse eight, you see these words, Oh, give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples. What does it say? Oh, give thanks. First Chronicles 16, 34. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Psalm 100 verses four and five enter into his gates with what? Thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. Be thankful to him and bless his name.

Why? For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations. Psalm 106, one. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Next chapter, first verse, Psalm 107, verse one. Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Over and over and over and over again, the Bible says, give God thanks.

What do you give to the one who has everything? You give him thanks and praise. In the New Testament, Ephesians 5, 20, the apostle Paul said, giving thanks always for all things to God, giving thanks always.

In the same way we were told just two verses earlier in our text in first Thessalonians, to rejoice always, now that same writer says, and give thanks always. Go to Philippians 4, six, and you'll find, be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, watch this, with thanksgiving. Don't just ask God, don't just be a gimme follower, gimme, gimme, gimme, I need, I need, I want, I want, oh please God. No, no, don't pray like that exclusively.

It says, yes, you want to pray with prayer and supplication, but make sure that you include thanksgiving. Make your requests known to God in the context of thanksgiving. Just one more scripture, although I could just go on the whole message, just give you scriptures. Let me give you one more, Colossians 3, 17, and whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, watch this, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do as you live your life, whatever you do, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus, do it because he authorized you to do it because it is part of his plan, it's what he would do if he were still here on earth.

Do it in his name and give thanks to him while you're doing it. So do you see the Bible says thank God all the time. We live in a world of atheists and agnostics and even people who believe in a higher power, they take that higher power for granted.

We need to stand out. We are his people. We're called by his name and we ought to show forth his praises and we were told in the scriptures as we give him thanks, we are to show his deeds so that all peoples can see there is a God. He's the one blessing us and we owe him thanks and we owe him the glory.

I hope that settles in on you. We ought to be people who honor God as a matter of lifestyle and one of the best ways to honor God is to be a person of thanksgiving, to constantly give God thanks. Thanksgiving then shouldn't just be a day in November. Great for the day that gives us a chance to literally stop societally and to offer thanks and of course you know as well as I do, many people don't really pray on that day. It's all about turkey and stuff but listen, the fact of the matter is you ought to live thanks, not just give it on a day.

You ought to live it every day. Thank you, Lord. In so doing, you'll honor the God that is being ignored. Imagine a God who is so gracious and kind, giving people breath to breathe and they use that to say he doesn't exist. It happens all over the world but the fact of the matter is we are called to lift up his praises, to proclaim his goodness and to say thank you.

When you sit down, I don't go to restaurants these days with this COVID-19 but when you do get back to going to the restaurant, you need to do what you do any time and hopefully you're learning from the word. Before you put fork to food, you're going to stop and give God some thanks. Coming up next, the rest of today's message, Conspicuous Gratitude with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. If you've never stopped by our website pastorpaul.net, I invite you to do it today. You'll find all of Pastor Paul's recent messages on demand plus some great resources at our online store including books, mp3 downloads and DVD messages from Pastor Paul. Pastorpaul.net is also a great place to learn more about the ministry and all the great things friends like you are doing through your prayers and financial support. Well, gratitude gives honor to God but it also does something else.

Here's Pastor Paul again with the rest of today's Destined for Victory message, Conspicuous Gratitude. When I'm at a restaurant, sometimes I'm at a table with other people and they don't have to pray with me. If they want to be heathens and start eating without praying, to knock yourself out. But I'm going to stop and pray over my food. If I'm eating with believers, I'll say, hey, let me offer thanks or have one of them do it. But even if I'm eating with people who don't know the Lord, I don't force them to pray.

Y'all need to honor. No, no, no, I don't fuss people into the will of God. I'll just stop and offer my thanks and then go to eating. Then sometimes people see you and it strikes them.

Why? Because folks are not used to living thanks. I'll never forget one time a group of us believers were at a meal and we stopped and we offered prayer and the weight person came over right at the time when we all had our heads bowed and just kind of panicked a little bit. And so after we lifted our heads, the waiter said, is everything all right?

And said, oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Not used to seeing folk pray. Fact of the matter is everything is just fine because I got to pray over this food, thank him for it and ask him to bless it because I don't know who back there in that kitchen, I don't know what kind of day they having and I'm not going to let them mess with my food and get away with it. So I'm going to ask God to have mercy and if something in there is not right, fix it up for me Lord and let me go on and do your will. Gratitude honors God and you and I need to live a life of conspicuous gratitude because it honors God.

Now I need you to see something else. The second point is gratitude demonstrates humility among people. Not only does it demonstrate honor toward God, it demonstrates humility among people. If you haven't noticed, we live among many people who are entirely too self preoccupied and entirely too entitled to give God the credit for the good things in their lives.

Much less give him glory. Some people won't even acknowledge that God blessed them. If they think that they're so brilliant and wonderful and they just got it like that, they're way too self absorbed, way too entitled to attribute any of their blessings to God and it is sad when you see people trying to pretend like they are self made. I've heard people brag, I'm a self made millionaire, I'm a self made entrepreneur, I'm a self made success and they are so deceived. No one is self made. God blessed you with the ability, with the talent, with the giftedness, with the brains. God blessed you with it all.

Then God blessed you to have people who would be used to bring you along. You can't be self made if you had to go to school and somebody had to teach you. How you going to be self made? You didn't show up as the teacher, you showed up as the student and you had to learn your one, two, threes, your ABCs, you had to learn disciplines every step of the educational ladder and finally you had enough education that you had grasped and comprehended where you were able to then apply some of that. And so how could you be self made and you had to go to school?

Well I dropped out, I was too brilliant for the professors. Yeah well along the way God helped you to get to the place where you were so smart you could drop out and start this worldwide corporation or whatever it is you want to brag about. At the end of the day God is the one who blessed you. Don't you dare say that you lifted yourself up by your own bootstraps. God gave you the boots, the straps and the strength to lift it up. And so you need to give God glory and when you see he's blessed you you need to express gratitude, conspicuous gratitude toward God.

Listen and while you do that you'll be doing it among people who you'll stand out just because they're not doing it. I want you to notice something Paul said in 2 Timothy chapter three verses one and two. 2 Timothy chapter three verses one and two.

Here's what the apostle Paul had to say about this whole business of humility among people. He said but know this that in the last days perilous times will come. Now this is Paul first century A.D. saying looking down the corridor of time by the power of the spirit of God and he says I see that in the last days perilous times are going to come.

You know what's amazing to me about that? Paul lived and ministered in perilous times. He lived and ministered in a world where Nero was in charge. He lived in a period of time where Christians were persecuted for their faith.

He lived in a time where people were being killed just because they named the name of the Lord and he looks down the corridor of time and says I can see that in the last days there are some perilous times coming and I want to let you know perilous times are here. Now look at verse two he says for men will be just pull out your pen or pencil and you can just check it off if you wonder if we're in the last days. Men will be lovers of themselves.

Check. Lovers of themselves. Have you ever seen so many self-absorbed people in all your boring days? Just self-absorbed. The one of the worst things we got was selfies. Self-absorbed people already click, click, click, click, click, click, click. It's just amazing how many pictures of yourself are you interested in taking?

The first 1,000 were nice. Stop it. Okay I don't go on to fussing let me get back to preaching. Lovers of themselves full of themselves. Look at the next phrase lovers of money.

Check. Lovers of money. Not what money can buy they just love the money. They love having it and sure they also love what they can buy but here's the problem money doesn't have life. Money doesn't have purpose.

Money has to be assigned. Money is a servant and what Paul says is people are going to love money and they're going to have no sense of needing to use it in the way that glorifies God and benefits the world. They just love being rich. Money, money, money, money, money.

Y'all didn't grow up in the OJ's that's back in my day. All right lovers of themselves lovers of money. Look at the next one. Boasters.

Check. Boasters. Have you ever seen so many boastful people in all your born days telling you what they did, where they've been, how great they are. Boasters.

That's not a good thing. When you see people who cannot even acknowledge anything less than brilliant and wonderful about themselves that's the group that Paul was talking about. When you think you're all that and the chips factory you are a boaster. Yeah you got a few things that are good about you and yes okay to acknowledge those but you know as well as I do there are some folk who don't think there's some good things about them they think they are it.

They think when you look up it in the dictionary it's them grinning. Listen let me tell you something when you are a boaster and when you are full of yourself my daddy used to say when you are wrapped up in yourself you are a small package. You're a small package. There's much more to the world than you and unfortunately a lot of y'all don't know that you are not it.

You need to get out here and see there is so much around you. The Bible said it this way. Paul said it this way in Romans chapter 12. He said don't think more highly of yourself than you ought. Meaning there's some good things you can acknowledge the good things about you and thank God for them. He said don't think more highly of yourself than you ought then what's the next phrase he said he said think soberly. Think soberly yeah you got some good things about you thank God for those but you sober thinking will let you know I also have some jacked uptedness about myself that's a word I invented don't try to look it up in the dictionary it's not there.

I personally coined that phrase I want royalties for it. Jacked uptedness yeah you got great things but you also got jacked up things you know as well as I do there's some stuff about you that's wonderful and then there's some other stuff that you ought to look at yourself every now and then in the mirror and say what's the matter with you if you don't do that all right you got more learning about yourself to do. God doesn't want you to condemn yourself but he does ask that you examine yourself to think soberly and honestly about the areas in your life that need a little work. When you humble yourself in that way God will exalt you in due season. Thanks for joining us for today's Destined for Victory message, Conspicuous Gratitude. If you need prayer please visit pastorpaul.net use the contact feature at the top of the home page to share your request with us. The ministry team here at Destined for Victory considers it a privilege to join you in prayer so contact us and when you do be sure to ask for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement yours at no cost or obligation and here's something else for you a booklet from Pastor Paul Shepherd called Your Purpose is Calling. If you're seeking God's specific will for your life this will be a great resource for you one that will give you three directives to help you discover his unique plans for you that's Your Purpose is Calling our gift to you by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory and today is the final day of this special offer so please contact us right away call 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory box 1767 Fremont California 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website pastorpaul.net thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. The gratitude in your heart doesn't do anybody any good that's like love in your heart oh no no I have a heart full of love well what's it doing in there it's not helping anybody in there love just hanging out in your heart love is a verb love has to be expressed in order for it to benefit anyone don't tell me you love me show me you love me that's next time in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message conspicuous gratitude until then remember he who began a good work in you will bring it to will bring it to completion in Christ you are Destined for Victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-08 13:52:04 / 2023-12-08 14:00:29 / 8

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