Welcome to this edition of Power Point with Jack Graham. A little later in the program we'll tell you how you can get a copy of Dr. Graham's book, Man of God.
But first, here's the message, Where Does God Live? Many of us have admired the writings and poetry of Rudyard Kipling. Kipling, of course, sold his work and made quite a fortune. Someone in the media once took Rudyard Kipling aside and he said, You've made a lot of money with your work.
As a matter of fact, we've determined that per word you have made $100. And so the rather cynical American reached into his pocket and pulled out a $100 bill and handed it to Mr. Kipling and said, So there, Mr. Kipling, give me one of your $100 words. Kipling looked at the bill. He looked at one side.
He looked at the other. He folded it, put it in his pocket and said, Thanks. Well, thanks is more than a $100 word. It is an invaluable word, especially when that word, thanks, becomes a way of life. In 1 Thessalonians 5 and verse 18, we're given a specific and direct command concerning gratitude. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. In everything give thanks.
Now I call this message. Where does God live? Now that's an interesting question, isn't it? Oh, I know that God lives and is everywhere. I know God is enthroned in the heavens. I know God lives in the hearts by his spirit of those who believe in him. But in Psalm 22 and verse three, there is a very interesting and intriguing verse of Scripture that tells us where God lives. For the Scripture says that our God who is holy is enthroned. He inhabits the praises of his people. The Psalmist said we enter his gates with thanksgiving.
We enter his courts with praise. Where does God live? Where on earth does God live?
I will tell you exactly where on earth God lives. He lives in the praises of his people. He lives where he is worshiped. He lives when he is worshiped.
Now again, God is everywhere, but his manifest presence, the revelation of his presence is made known when and where he is worshiped, when we give praise and thanks to him. When we praise him, we worship him for who he is. When we give thanks, we worship him with thanksgiving for what he has done. He is worthy of our worship. He is enthroned upon the praises of his people.
He is elevated and exalted when we lift him up in our lives and with our lips. And so let our gratitude overflow with hot hearts as we worship him. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. This reminds me of the attitude of gratitude. What is the attitude of gratitude?
It is that our gratitude is always to be expressed. Be thankful in all things, in everything, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Do you want to know God's will for your life? There's some parts to the will of God that we do not yet know. There's some things that are mysteries concerning the will of God, but this is abundantly clear, is it not? It is God's will that we all give thanks and that we give thanks all of the time.
This is a commandment from God. This is the attitude of gratitude that we express it always. William James said at the turn of another century, perhaps the greatest discovery of this century is that if you can change your attitude, you can change your life. We know that the key to changing your life is changing your attitude. You cannot change the circumstances of your life, but you can change the condition and the atmosphere and the environment of your life when you give praise and thanksgiving to God.
You can move from being a person that is negative and pessimistic and down and cynical to becoming a person who is optimistic and excited about life and enthusiastic and living with an attitude that is joyous and celebrated. Being ungrateful is certainly a great sin against God. It reveals pride, arrogance, self-centeredness. It reveals pettiness and carelessness when we do not pause to praise, when we do not give thanks. It breaks the clear commandment of God.
As a matter of fact, in Romans chapter one, when the scripture is cataloging the condition of depraved humanity one by one, sins are being mentioned. Terrible sins that defy the imagination. The result of life without God at the top of the list is ingratitude. People who do not give thanks even though they have been so greatly blessed. If you want to be happy in your life, if you want to be healthy in your life, if you want to be holy in your life, then give thanks. For there is no redeeming quality among those who are ungrateful.
Think about it. Gratitude counteracts all of the damaging and destructive emotions that tear us down. Whether they be fear or anxiety or bitterness or unforgiveness or despair or depression, all of these negative destructive emotions in our lives that drag us down and pull us down and even damage us physically. These are counteracted by the positive power of praise in our lives.
It is this attitude that changes everything. Everything is better when I am grateful. There was an old lady when she would pray, she would always bow her head and pray something like this. Lord, thank you for my vittles. Someone heard her praying that and said, old lady, don't you know that you will eat whether you say thank you or not?
She said, I suppose that's true. She said, but things taste better when I say thanks. And I tell you, life tastes better when we say thanks. Everything is turned around in our attitude when we are grateful people. The word think and thank in the English language are cousins.
They have a common origin. When we think about the blessings of God, when we count them and really begin to reflect upon them, we will be amazed and then turn with thanksgiving. Just like that one leper who returned to give thanks to Jesus. There were ten, you know, ten who needed a miracle, ten who needed the touch of Jesus Christ to cleanse them and to change their lives.
And Jesus saw their need and with compassion, he cleansed them of their leprosy and healed them of this dread and deadly disease. But only one of the ten, according to the scripture, came back to say thank you. How many times do we pass by opportunities to say thank you, Lord, and even thank you to others simply because we're not paying attention to the blessings of God. We're simply careless and we don't say thanks. As we rejoice together in thanksgiving, our attitude changes.
And when our attitude changes, that changes not only our attitude, but it changes our altitude. Now here's what I mean by that. Because not only are we to give thanksgiving and that's the attitude of gratitude, the gratitude that is always to be expressed, but there's also this altitude of gratitude that is our gratitude is always to be expanded.
Now here's what I mean by that. Because God inhabits the praises of his people and because we are commanded and called upon to give thanks for this is the will of God, we are to thank God for anything and everything, for the blessings as well as the burdens, for the benefits and the battles of life. And when you expand your horizons to say thank you, your gratitude then lifts you. It enlarges and expands your life. You start living large and it changes, it absolutely changes your perspective in life.
It may not change your circumstances, but it changes what your circumstances do to you because it changes your perspective. No longer are your eyes upon something just right here in front of you, but when you begin to give thanks, your life is enlarged and your blessings are expanded. Think about the Psalmist. We so love to read the Psalms in times of trouble as well as times of triumph and joyous times as well as sad times.
We often turn to the Psalms because the height and the depth of human emotions are expressed there in the Psalms. And the Psalmist said in Psalm 34 and verse 1, I will bless the Lord, I will praise the Lord at all times. His praise will continually be in my mouth.
In other words, thanksgiving will always be on the tip of my tongue. I am always ready to praise God. And when you read the words of the Psalmist, he's doing that and he is praising God in the heavens and he's praising God on earth. He's praising God in the mountains and he's praising God across the seas.
His horizons are expanded beyond measure. The depths of his soul are plunged and he has a great heart, a heart after God himself because he is praising God constantly. And when you praise and give thanks, when you worship him like this, you also will start living large.
You are listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham and the message, Where Does God Live? Our world desperately needs men of God, strong men who model gentleness, lead with humility and speak the truth in love. We want to help you identify the traits of a real man of God by sending you Dr. Jack Graham's insightful book, Man of God.
Our thanks for your gift today. In it, Dr. Graham gives you biblical insights to what a true man of God looks like to his spouse, his family and the world. To request your copy of Man of God, call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627.
You can also text PowerPoint to 59789. And don't forget to visit JackGraham.org where you can shop our e-store, give a gift online or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email devotional. Our website again is JackGraham.org. Now let's get back to today's message, Where Does God Live? It is the attitude of gratitude that is to be expressed always. It is this altitude of gratitude that is to be expanded always. And one final thing, it is the latitude of gratitude that is to be extended always. What do you mean the latitude of gratitude? Well we are not to hoard our blessings but rather give them away.
We are to share what God has given and if it is wonderful to receive a blessing, it is even better to be a blessing and to give our blessings away. That's what I mean when I say the latitude of gratitude is to be always extended to others. Did you know that gratitude is the mark of a growing Christian?
A growing Christian. Because it is a test of our maturity. It is a sign that we are moving from selfishness to caring and sharing and being a blessing to others. You know you have to teach children to be thankful. Have you noticed that? You have to teach your children to be grateful.
Why? Because they are little ingrates, that's why. And the natural course of human selfishness is to take things for granted. So one of the most important things that we can teach our children is how to say thank you and how to be grateful to God and to others. And when we start living like that, we start growing in our faith. You see, we give thanks not just so that we can feel better but so that we can live better. That we can live the Christ life.
That we treat people with affirmation and encouragement and respect. That we face off and defy the trials and the test of life knowing that God is in control of every circumstance of our lives. And therefore, even with thanksgiving, we can give thanks through tears and praise him through pain. That's the sign, the mark of a growing Christian. And when you start growing like this and living like this in thanksgiving, it means that Jesus is everywhere you go.
Everywhere. That your entire life becomes a sanctuary of praise. God always gives himself to those who call upon him in praise and thanksgiving. He gives himself abundantly to us. And therefore, this is not only a sign, this latitude of gratitude that we're growing in our faith and in our Christian life. But another sign, when the latitude is being expanded, extended, we will be a giving Christian. You cannot be a thankful, grateful person and live a selfish life.
Period. God gives abundantly to us and therefore we give back the blessings. Let us give back sacrificially and generously.
First, our lives, our families, our time, our gifts, our service, and our possessions. Recently, our deacons, over 300 in our deacon body along with a few others, participated in what we call the day of service. It was community outreach. And on this day of service, our men were everywhere sharing the blessings.
Whether it was an apartment house or a community center or working in a church or painting the house of a widow. I was so proud of our men who recognized that the role of being a deacon is that of service and ministry to others. And with gratitude to God, God has given us so much and we want to give back to others.
Give back to our community and serve. We do not exist for ourselves, but we exist for others. We exist for people who do not know Christ and those who need the compassion and the ministry and the touch of Christ through His church. How thankful we are for the privilege of giving back and becoming an army of compassion. Giving, of course, includes our possessions. How ungrateful I would be if I would take from God's hand the money that is placed there and the possessions that I've been given and not be a faithful giver of my tithes and my offerings to my Savior. I think it's one of the highest signs of ingratitude and immaturity when I am not a faithful giver with thanksgiving in my heart. But not only will we be growing in our Christian life and giving in our Christian life, but then we will be glowing in our Christian life when we say thanks.
And here's why. Because when we give praise and thanks to God always and the latitude of our gratitude is expanded, then here's what happens. Number one, Jesus is magnified. Our God is glorified when we praise Him. He is lifted up and exalted. He inhabits the praises of His people.
That's where God lives. But not only is Jesus magnified, but Christians are edified. We are built up when we give thanks. We are strengthened in our faith.
We know what it is to live in the face of conflict and even crisis with an attitude that has been transformed by thanksgiving to God and gratitude. And so Jesus is magnified, Christians are edified, and get this, the church is multiplied. The kingdom of God is multiplied when we praise Him, when we give thanks. Can I tell you that a grateful Christian sharing the blessings of God in his life or her life, that life, that influence is more powerful than a thousand sermons. When we become sermons walking and praising God for His goodness to us. For when we do that over and over again, people are drawn in by the spirit of thanksgiving in our midst. Over and over again, people tell me when they come to this church, when they worship with us, when they get in on what God is doing here, they see it in the faces of God's people.
It is on the countenance of Christians when we truly worship Him. Joy is seen and peace is experienced even on our faces when we glow with gratitude. Before you know it, people will be coming to Christ saying, it was that grateful Christian, that thankful spirit, that attitude that impacted my life. The impact of a grateful heart and a heartfelt worshiper is impossible to measure.
It is greater than all of the evangelistic methods that we could conceive. Simply being thankful and overflowing with praise and worship to God. And do you know, it leads us and takes us all the way to heaven.
It will bring heaven to your heart. If prayer brings your heart to heaven, praise will bring heaven to your heart. And one day, we will praise Him in His very presence when we see Him. John on the Isle of Patmos in the book of Revelation was worshiping. He was in the spirit on the Lord's day. Chapter 4 tells us when he was worshiping God, there was a door opened in heaven. And he looked beyond that door and do you know what he saw? He saw the throne of God and God Almighty on that throne being worshiped by myriads of people, of every nation, of every language, of every kindred and every tongue.
And John was transported from a prisoner's island called Patmos into paradise when he began praising and worshiping God. It will take you into the very presence of God when you praise Him. And there you will see your God reigning and ruling on the praises of His people. God has not vacated His throne and therefore come to the throne of God with thanksgiving and into His presence with praise because when you do, your attitude will be the attitude of gratitude. And you will always express thanksgiving.
And your altitude will always be expanded. There will be more and more blessings to receive and to rejoice over. And then in that latitude of your gratitude, all of your thanksgiving will be expanded and given to others.
I want to encourage you right now not to be a greedy getter but a grateful giver. There's no reason for any of us to grovel and to live a low life when He's called us to the high life of worship and praise and thanksgiving. You're listening to PowerPoint with Jack Graham and his message, Where Does God Live? Today's culture has so distorted the concept of masculinity that some even reject it as toxic. But our world doesn't need less manly men. We need more men of God, men who love Jesus, make loving husbands and fathers and lead as servants. We'd like to help you uncover what God says about true masculinity by sending you Dr. Graham's book, Man of God.
You'll gain biblical insight into how you or the men in your life can live with purpose and passion, putting Christ first and living radically for Him. Man of God is our thanks for your gift to help proclaim God's word through PowerPoint. So request your copy when you call today. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text PowerPoint to 59789. And don't forget to visit JackGraham.org where you can shop our e-store, give a gift online, or sign up for Dr. Graham's free daily email devotional.
Our website again is JackGraham.org. Pastor, what is your PowerPoint for today? It's really important to remember what it says in 1 Thessalonians 5, 16 to 18. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. The key words I want to point out are give thanks in all circumstances. It's easy to give thanks and have a grateful heart when things are going well in your life, but the hard part is being thankful when life really gets hard. I believe having a thankful, grateful response in every circumstance starts with having an appropriate perspective. It's easy to become narrow in your outlook and forget the big picture.
When we become so focused on ourselves and our problems, the problem usually ends up getting a lot bigger than it should be. So today, I want to encourage you to take your eyes off your problems and put your eyes on the Lord. Pray a prayer of thanks to Him that He has created you and given you life, and look at today as a gift from God to start over again. As it says in the Scriptures, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. Yes, God is a faithful God. Most often, we can't change our circumstances, but we can change our response to those circumstances. If you allow every trial and tribulation to become an opportunity to thank God, He will always show up with His power and His presence.
When we come into the presence of God and sing praises unto Him, He is always there, for God inhabits the praises of His people, and He can change your entire perspective on whatever you may be facing today. And that is today's PowerPoint. Remember, when you give a gift to PowerPoint, we'll send you Dr. Graham's book, Man of God, as our thanks. Call 1-800-795-4627. That's 1-800-795-4627. You can also text the word PowerPoint to 59789. And join us again next time as Dr. Graham brings a message about the only place where life is truly found. That's next time on PowerPoint with Jack Graham. PowerPoint with Jack Graham is sponsored by PowerPoint Ministries.
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