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Attitude of Gratitude

Taken from my preparation for doing the offering invitation this morning in the adult services:

Many offering sermons start out with a reminder about Luke 6:38. They are very future-oriented. In other words if you need a blessing, then be a giver and believe for the promise of Luke 6:38.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (RNIV)

This is all good, and I ve many times stood on this verse for provision. However, it s also important to give out of thankfulness for what God has already done in our lives.

Psalms 107:8 Oh that man would praise the LORD for his goodness. (KJV)

We do such a good job of keeping track of what we give. We have the church who reports how much we ve given at the end of the year, other charities keep track of your gifts, and then we add them all up and apply them towards are taxes. We take satisfaction, and rightly so, in what we give away. Some of us have even probably thought that to have more money would open more doors for us to give. (I said some of us, not all of us.) In plain words, we do a good job of keeping up with what we give; but we do a worse job in keeping up with the blessings of God. We seem to forget his provision and his meeting our needs over the years.

Not remembering these things affects our overall perspective. We need to keep the blessings of God in front of us at all times. Look at the warning given to the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 8:10-19 “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God . . . “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth . . . If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed” (NIV)

The blessings of God will keep his will close to our hearts, and help us to remember where he has brought us from. Showing these blessings to our children, help them see a God that is intimately involved in the lives of His children. We give out of thankfulness for what he has done in the past; as well as what he will do in our future.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.