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Being Thankful At Thanksgiving: Developing an Attitude of...

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Being Thankful At Thanksgiving: Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

Philippians 4:4-9

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

INTRODUCTION:

(What?) What do the scriptures teach?

What are some actions that the Apostle Paul gives in the text that will promote developing an attitude of gratitude?

I. A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO BE JOYFUL (VS. 4).

(Phil. 4:4) “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”

A. Circumstances do not have to determine your outlook.

1. The Apostle Paul’s circumstances were not favorable—yet his outlook remained good.

a. He was in prison for proclaiming the good news about Christ.

2. The Philippian believers, to whom he was writing, had some negative circumstances.

a.. Persecution of Christians was common in the Roman society.

II. A CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS THAT IS A MINDSET (VS. 5).

(Phil. 4:5) Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

A. Operating out of a mindset of consideration for others leads to less focus on self.

1. When the focus is on consideration for others, there is a more of a tendency to be grateful.

B. Remember that Christ is returning soon when interacting with others (believers and unbelievers).

1. If you knew that Jesus would return while you are interacting with people, how would you treat them? He Might!

III. A COMPLETE RECOGNITION OF THE SOURCE OF ALL RESOURCES (VS. 6-7).

(Phil. 4:6-7) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

A. Recognize that the source of your provisions is not in this world.

1. Worry accomplishes nothing positive and prevents an attitude of gratitude…it produces misery.

a. Jesus warned his disciples not to worry.

(Luke 12:22-31) “22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.”

B. Recognize that God is the source of all you need.

(Philippians 4:19) “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

1. Pray and ask him to supply your needs.

2. Thank God for all he has done to provide for your needs.

C- Recognition of God’s providential care will produce an attitude of gratitude and lead to a peaceful heart and mind.

IV. A CONSCIOUS FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE (VS. 8-9).

(Phil. 4:8-9) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

A. An attitude of gratitude is maintained by fixing your focus on the right things.

1. Things that encourage right thinking, right attitudes, and right actions.

B. An attitude of gratitude is maintained and encouraged by living out the transformed life that Christ gives.

1. When we focus our thinking on the types of things Paul instructs, a grateful, transformed lifestyle becomes more natural.

So What? (What does that mean to us today?)

1. The believer is to make a conscious choice to have an attitude of gratitude.

2. The believer must choose to have a mindset of consideration for other people.

3. The believer must recognize the true source of his supply for all of life’s needs.

4. The believer must maintain a conscious focus on good, positive things.

The result:

Development of an attitude of gratitude.

Now What? (Now what will I do about it?)

What will I do…

1. Will I make a conscious choice to have an attitude of gratitude?

2. What will I do in a practical way to help me be others focused, rather than self-focused? What practical steps will I take to help me be considerate of other people?

3. What will I do to redirect my energies from worry to trust in God for meeting my needs?

4. What will I do to change the focus of my thinking to things that are good, praiseworthy, and pleasing to God?

CONCLUSION:

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