A Grateful Heart

3:59 pm generosity, grace, thanksgiving

Consider some thoughts from II Cor. 9:11-15.  Paul focuses on the contribution that he has been collecting for the poor saints and others in Judea.  He mentions four key concepts:  grace, gratitude, generosity and glorification of God.  As he develops each of these concepts, he defines a grateful heart.
A Grateful Heart is God-Centered
A grateful heart recognizes God as the ultimate source of every good and every perfect gift (James 1:17).  A grateful heart readily admits dependence upon God.  Ingratitude insists upon self-sufficiency rather than God-sufficiency.  God enriches us with a bounty of blessings.  His infinite goodness is freely manifested in the wonderful riches that He gives to us.  This includes both physical and spiritual blessings.  The chief gift that God gives is His Son (II Cor. 9:15).  Ingratitude breeds independence from God rather than dependence on God. Simply put, the ungrateful do not see their need of God.  However, they could not live even a single day without God.  Ingratitude shows a heart that has forgotten God.  This was the very thing that Moses warned Israel about in Deut. 8:6-20.
A Grateful Heart Is a Humble Heart
Those who despise God’s goodness manifest impenitence (Rom. 2:4-6).  Unbelief produces impenitence.  Impenitence is due to man’s pride.  Unbelief, impenitence and pride produce ingratitude.  Gratitude shows humility.  Humility leads to a recognition of the need for God and the redemption that He supplies through Jesus Christ.  Godly sorrow precedes repentance (II Cor. 7:10).  Repentance precedes reconciliation to God.  Through reconciliation to God we can stand in His divine favor (grace).
A Grateful Heart is a Devoted Heart
Thanksgiving to God is manifested in praise and prayer.  Praise and prayer are integral elements of our worship of God.  In praise and prayer, God is glorified.  Worship is an act of gratitude to God.  The ungrateful do not draw nigh to God.  They fail to see any connection between who they are and what they have acquired and God.
A Grateful Heart is a Generous Heart
Paul writes concerning “this ministration” i.e. the work of gathering a contribution to help the poor saints and others in Judea.  The church became a channel of blessing to others.  The generosity of the churches resulted in many thank to God and God was glorified.  Ingratitude robs God of the glory due His name.  Ingratitude leads to selfishness and others suffer because of the failure to show a generous spirit.
A Grateful Heart is a Compassionate Heart
A grateful heart is a warm heart.  A grateful heart is full of compassion.  A compassionate heart can be moved by the needs of others.  Ingratitude produces cold heartedness.   Remember Scrouge?  Scrouge was miserly, stingy, cold hearted and lonely.  His greed isolated him from others and produced a darkness in his soul.
The Greatest Gift
The greatest gift deserves the greatest thanks.  God gave His Son.  Jesus gave His life for us.  This spiritual windfall leaves us speechless.  “But thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.”  Through God’s grace we are enriched unto all bountifulness.  God’s grace produces a grateful heart.  This is the heart of a Christian!


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