Gratefulness is Next to Godliness

Colossians 1:10-12

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

 

Have you ever heard the old adage “Cleanliness is next to godliness”?  Did you know there are people who think this is actually a Bible verse? While it is not in the Bible, there is some truth to the statement…Cleanliness is a testament of character.  Physical cleanliness, organization, house cleaning, etc… are all a testimony to one’s character. Character is a trait needed to live a successful Christian life.

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving! We have been “Giving- Thanks”. It is a morally strengthening holiday.

Being thankful or grateful is an important key to a godly life.

Gratefulness is defined as thankfulness accompanied by good will and a good disposition.

We should be thankful and grateful for all of God’s wonderful blessings! A thankful heart is an obedient, serving, growing, heart.

In the book of Colossians, we see Paul urging a group of believers to be thankful and grateful people. An attitude of gratefulness is key to the right attitude and actions in Godliness.

I. Gratefulness Strengthens The Saint

 

Col 1:10-12

 

Verse 11

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

 

These things…  Patience, Long-suffering, Joyfulness, and Strength… are all increased by verse 12

 

Verse 12

Giving Thanks……

 

If I am thankful to God, grateful, not just in word, but in attitude and actions as well, I will see an increase in those Christian attributes.

 

Patience, Long-suffering, Joy, Strength all things needed to succeed in the Christian life.

 

My attitude of gratitude helps me to be strengthened as a Christian during life’s hardest trials.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

Alexander Whyte was a Scottish preacher who always started his services with an expression of gratitude.

One Sunday, the weather was snowy, cold and miserable and not very many people showed up for church. It was a terrible day! The entire congregation that was there wondered what Pastor Whyte would say to begin the service on such a bad day. That morning, Pastor Whyte prayed, “We thank thee O God, that it is not always like this”.

 

His attitude of gratitude kept him going even on a rough day. See what being grateful can do for a Christian!

 

  1. Gratefulness Builds the Believer

 

Col 2:7

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

 

“Rooted and Built Up”

 

The root of every growing Christian is Gratitude. If I am not thankful for what God has done, is doing, can do, will do, …

 

Then I will not be interested in growing in Christ spiritually.

 

The reason there are some Christians who are not interested in growing in Christ is because they are ungrateful for all God has done for them.

 

Paul told the Colossians that they can be stablished in the faith, if they abound therein with thanksgiving. Ungrateful Christians are uninterested and unfaithful Christians.

 

Ephesians 5:1-4

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

 

Paul tells the Ephesians that following God, walking in love, and avoiding sin can be helped by giving thanks.

Oh, How we miss the importance of gratefulness!  Christians, who were truly grateful to be redeemed for their sins, would not be flirting with the very sins that Christ redeemed them from.

When we struggle with sin, we are also struggling with our gratefulness to the God that saved our soul.

 

II Cor 9:6-11

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

 

Paul tells the church at Corinth that their giving is done based on a thanks to God (verse 11).

“which causeth through us thanksgiving to God”

 

The faithfulness of the giving of our time, talent and treasure is a measure of our gratefulness.

 

The reason many Christians struggle to give tithe and offering is not because they can’t, it is because they can’t see why anyone would give God something. They are ungrateful.

 

The reason some Christians won’t get involved at the church is not because they don’t have the time, but because they can’t see the benefit for them.  They are ungrateful.

 

III.    Gratefulness Helps the Home

 

Col 3:15-17

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 

Great verses… “Giving thanks to God”

 

Now look at 18-23

 

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

 

The Giving of thanks… an attitude of Gratitude is what will help us with…

 

Marriages… Verse 18-19

Parents and Children… Verses 20-21

Work Relationships… Verse 22

Work Attitude…         Verse 23

 

Marriages need a good dose of Gratefulness

Children need a good dose of Gratefulness

Parents need a good dose of Gratefulness

Employees need a good dose of Gratefulness

Employers need a good dose of Gratefulness

 

We all need an attitude of Gratitude!

 

  1. Gratefulness Produces Prayer

 

Col 4:2-3

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

True gratefulness is evident by a fervent prayer life.

 

Phil 4:6

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

People who are grateful pray. They want to let God know that they are thankful for what God has done for them.

 

If you do not have a prayer life, it is because you are not thankful for what God has done in your life. That is hard to swallow, but it is the truth. Our lack of prayer is often a lack of gratitude.

 

Grateful people are praying people.

 

Closing:
I believe a lot of our problems and issues, in our marriages, our homes, our church, our jobs, our families, our children, and our personal lives are caused by a lack of gratitude. The more grateful I am the more godly I tend to be. I see myself as who I am and I see my need for God.

Gratefulness Strengthens the Saints

Gratefulness Builds the Believer

Gratefulness Helps the Home

Gratefulness Produces Prayer

 

Gratefulness is next to Godliness.

 

William Davis

William Davis

Youth Pastor

Clays Mill Baptist Church

859-321-2536

wwadavis@gmail.com

www.theyplife.org