Thursday, November 27, 2014

Show Your Gratitude Through Your Generosity

God has been extravagantly generous to us, lavishing His goodness and unfailing love on us. The good things God has stored up for us who fear Him are immensely abundant and He bestows His goodness on us in the sight of all who have eyes to see.

How great is the goodness You have stored up for those who fear You. You lavish it on those who come to You for protection, blessing them before the watching world. (Psalm 31:19 NLT).
I am a recipient of God’s overflowing goodness and immeasurable blessings. My expectations at the beginning of 2014 were mind-boggling. It was humanly impossible to see how the things that I was looking up to God for could come to pass. “How shall these things be?” I pondered so many times. Today, I can look back and declare like David in Psalm 145:

I will meditate on Your majestic, glorious splendour and Your wonderful miracles.
Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim Your greatness.
Everyone will share the story of Your wonderful goodness;
They will sing with joy about Your righteousness

Surely, you too can recall and recount the goodness of God in your life in 2014. There is no one who has nothing to be grateful for, because God is good to everyone. He showers His love and compassion on all His creation. Everything God does is suffused with grace. This passage calls all of us to share the story of God’s wonderful goodness in our lives.

How then can we show our gratitude for God’s awesome goodness to us?
Paraphrasing The Message translation of Psalm 145: 5-7, we can demonstrate our gratitude by making His marvelous deeds to us headline news, writing a book full of the details of His greatness and spreading the fame of His goodness across the world. Simply put, David encourages us to make our gratitude to God fluent and evident.

Gratitude is more than a feeling, it has to be demonstrated by what we do. Our gratitude to God must be Told and Shown. Our thankfulness and appreciation of God should be expressed not only by our words but also by our deeds.

Gratitude is not just an occasional expression of thanks, but a continual lifestyle of thanksgiving. It is being thankful and grateful for every single thing that God is doing in our lives day by day.

Fluent and abundantly uttered:
David was very generous in uttering his praise to God for His goodness towards him. He declared God’s greatness with fervency and fluency. We are to tell of what God has done in our lives with zeal, glowing in the warmth of His love. We can never exceed the truth when we speak of God’s extravagant goodness with fervency. We are not to be silent witnesses but fluent in our testimony.

We ought to feel His praise deeply in our hearts and openly declare it. We should publicly speak of His goodness and joyfully proclaim it in songs. This is a good point to pause and let your mouth speak generously of the praise of God.

I will praise You.
              I will extol You.
                             I will bless Your Name.
                                           Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.

Evident and passionately demonstrated:
Just as we have been admonished to generously utter the praises of God, our lives should also speak out loudly of the goodness which we have experienced in God. We cannot overdo it when we passionately demonstrate by our actions and with zeal our gratitude to God, especially through our acts of generosity. We only exhibit the nature of God in us and reflect His divine attribute to the world around us.

Gratitude is shown in acts – Henri Frederic Amiel

We are called to show our gratitude to God by being generous to our needy brothers and sisters. Paul was very explicit that reaching out to the needy in our midst is an evidence of our obedience to God.

Generosity puts our obedience to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ on display.

"Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough!" 
(2 Corinthians 9:12-15 MSG).

Make sure you dont take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets. (Hebrews 13:16 MSG)

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (1 John 3:17-18 NLT)

Generosity, a multiplying factor:
Generosity demonstrates our gratitude to God and impacts the lives of the people it touches. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgiving to God. In addition to these, there is a promise of a reward attached to it. Generosity reaches out to others as an overflow of our gratitude to God and it brings back more blessings to us.

"I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness. At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. 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." (Philippians
4:17-19 NLT)

Those of us who have experienced God’s extravagant goodness in our lives are called to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. By so doing, we will build a treasury that will last and we gain life that is truly life.

Dear Friends, I desire that you to experience the blessings that issues from generosity. Let someone around you be impacted with your expression of gratitude. As our friends in US celebrate Thanksgiving today and we enter the Christmas season, we are provided with an ample opportunity to demonstrate our gratitude through our generosity.

What can you do?
1.       Be generous in showing mercy and offering forgiveness.
2.       Offer hospitality. Open your homes to the brethren graciously without complaining.
3.       Be open to needs in your family, church and community and reach out to meet those needs.

The simplest and most powerful way to show gratitude is to be truly present, being generous with your time and attention. Your family will be glad for this.

In what ways can you make a unique dent in the world around you as an act of your gratitude to God?

Father, thank You for the way You provide for every area of my life. I am grateful for everything I have. I am grateful that You are always doing special things in my life, Lord. I choose to be generous in my praise and gratitude to You. I ask for the grace to demonstrate my gratitude by allowing You to use my life to touch lives. Help me to recognize needs around me and be generous in meeting them. In Jesus name I pray. 

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