Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Highest Level of Living

Here is a blog from Steven Furtick that really spoke to me today:

There are few things more important to God than gratitude. It’s the highest level of living because it’s where you realize everything you have is by the grace of God. It’s the eternal state of Heaven, and it’s something we can experience here and now.

Here are the five observations on gratitude:
1. Gratitude is never invisible or silent. There is no such thing as silent gratitude. If you’re really grateful for something, you’ll say it and show it. Unexpressed gratitude is a lost opportunity to give God praise.

2. Gratitude sustains joy and blessing. In the same way that you can relive an offense through bitterness, you can relive a blessing of God through gratitude. It is possible to relive the joy of yesterday’s gifts with today’s thankfulness.

3. Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends. To keep a high sense of gratitude, you must keep a low sense of entitlement. You can’t be grateful for something you feel entitled to. And the truth is, you’re not entitled to anything.

You woke up this morning. Someone else didn’t. They thought they would, but they didn’t. You received a standard Christmas bonus. Someone else is still looking for a job.
If that wasn’t enough, for the Christian, anything short of hell is God’s miraculous, overwhelming, and sufficient grace. We’re not entitled to salvation. It’s a gracious gift that demands a grateful response.

4. Grateful people can find a blessing, enlarge a blessing, or create a blessing in almost any situation. The opposite of this point is that negative people can find a burden, enlarge a burden, or create a burden in almost any situation. It might sound crass, but some people are crap factories. It doesn’t matter what you put in them, it just comes out crap. They’ll always find a reason to complain. They’ll always find the worst in every situation.

But then for other people, they find crap, put a seed in it, and let it grow. Who do you think possesses more joy?

Your situation doesn’t need to improve for your gratitude to increase. Gratitude sees the best and the potential in every situation.

5. Gratitude increases favor and creates opportunity. Gratitude will make you magnetic for miracles. Joseph preserved his gratitude even after unjustly spending over a decade in slavery and prison. And God used him to save a nation and preserve His people.

If you want the favor of God to flow through your life, keep a grateful heart.