When counting your blessings, what is your primary view?
Two views of Gratitude – Earthly or Eternal
An Earthy view of Gratitude
- Please & Thank You.
- Can serve an appropriate but limited purpose.
Cautions about an earthly view of Gratitude:
1. Limited – Are your prayers dominated by a list of all the “earthly” blessings you have in your physical life (job, health, house, etc.)?
2. Diversion – May easily veer into selfishness, pride, or greed
(Consider the Parable of the Tax Collector from Luke 18:9-14).
An Eternal view of Gratitude
- Reminds us of God’s greatness.
- Moves us beyond ourselves.
- Sees thanksgiving as a form of praise and worship.
A practical application:
Read Psalms 136 out loud as an expression of an eternal view of Gratitude
TALK IT OUT:
- Pastor Jeff compares two views of gratitude, an earthly view and an eternal view.
Think about the two different views and ask yourself, what is the difference between
these two views of gratitude?
- What do you think “earthly gratitude” looks like?
- What do you think “eternal gratitude” looks like?
- Our point of view when it comes to gratitude is extremely significant. Colossians 3:2,
says we’re to set our minds on things above, not on things that are on earth. Why is
this so important when it comes to counting our blessings?
- Scripture gives the example of a Pharisee who prayed, “God I thank you that I am
not like other men…” (Luke 18:11, ESV) Who did the Pharisee focus on in his
prayer, himself or God? Why is our focus significant when it comes to gratitude?
- Pastor Jeff suggests that an eternal view of gratitude will remind us of the “awe-
inspiring greatness of God.” Does your gratitude focus how much you have, and how
great God is? If your focus is on yourself, how might changing your perspective
completely change your thankfulness in the future?
- The words, “thanks” and “thanksgiving” appear 133 times in the Bible. Why do you
think God sees thankfulness as so important?
- Pastor Jeff says thankfulness moves us beyond ourselves because it is a form of
praise and worship. How can recognizing God as the source of our blessings be
foundational to worshipping Him?
- Colossians 3:16 reminds us that we are to sing, “psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, with thankfulness in our hearts.” Why should our psalms, hymns and spiritual
songs proceed from a heart of thankfulness?
LIVE IT OUT
– This Thanksgiving (and moving forward) make a list of how you can look for ways
to have both an earthly view and an eternal view of gratitude?
– Read Psalm 136 and make a list of all the ways God demonstrates that “His
steadfast love endures forever.”
– Thank God for two different items from that list each day this week.
– As you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, ponder how you can
become a more consistently grateful person moving forward.