Sermons

Gratitude

PRO Sermon
Created by Sermon Research Assistant on Nov 15, 2023
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This sermon explores gratitude in scarcity, generosity in giving, and spiritual growth through gratitude, using the miracle of feeding five thousand as an example.

Introduction

Good morning, dear friends, and welcome to this blessed gathering. Isn't it a delight to be in the house of the Lord, to sit at His feet, and to learn from His Word? We're here today, not by mere chance or coincidence, but by divine appointment. God, in His infinite wisdom and unending love, has brought us together to share in the richness of His Word.

Our focus today is Matthew 14:13-21, a familiar passage that speaks volumes about the nature of our God and His call to us. Let me read it for us:

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, 'This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.' Jesus replied, 'They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.' 'We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,' they answered. 'Bring them here to me,' he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Gratitude in Scarcity

The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, 'You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.' Isn't that a sobering thought? True gratitude, dear friends, is not about abundance; it's about contentment.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for this day, for Your Word, and for Your presence among us. As we reflect on the passage from Matthew, open our hearts and minds so that we may glean from it the lessons You have for us. Teach us to be grateful in times of scarcity, to be generous in our giving, and to grow through our gratitude. We ask this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

In the passage we read, we find Jesus and His disciples in a situation that, to human eyes, seems impossible. They are in a remote place, surrounded by a crowd of five thousand men, not counting women and children. It's getting late, and there's no food in sight. The disciples, looking at their meager resources, see scarcity. But Jesus, looking at the same resources, sees an opportunity for gratitude.

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Let's think about that for a moment. How often do we find ourselves in situations where we see scarcity? Maybe it's not a physical scarcity of food, but perhaps it's a scarcity of time, of energy, of patience, of love. And in those moments, how often do we respond with gratitude? It's a challenging thought, isn't it?

This brings us to the first aspect of this idea. In the face of scarcity, Jesus chose to give thanks. He didn't complain about the lack of resources. He didn't worry about how He was going to feed the crowd. He simply took what He had, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks. This is a powerful example for us. In our moments of scarcity, our first response should be gratitude. Gratitude for what we have, no matter how little it may seem. Gratitude for the One who has given us everything we have. Gratitude that turns our focus from what we lack to the One who lacks nothing.

The second aspect is that gratitude in scarcity requires faith. When Jesus gave thanks for the five loaves and two fish, He was expressing His faith in His Father's ability to provide. He was acknowledging that even in scarcity, God is more than enough. This is a reminder for us that gratitude is not just about being thankful for what we have, but also about trusting in God's provision. It's about believing that even in our scarcity, God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.

The third aspect is that gratitude in scarcity leads to abundance. After Jesus gave thanks, He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to distribute. And what happened? Everyone ate and was satisfied, and there were even leftovers! This shows us that when we respond to scarcity with gratitude, God can take our little and make it much. He can turn our scarcity into abundance. This doesn't necessarily mean that He will always give us more of what we think we need, but it does mean that He will always give us what we truly need.

The fourth and final aspect is that gratitude in scarcity is a witness to others. When the people saw what Jesus had done, they were amazed. They saw a demonstration of God's power and provision that they would never forget. In the same way, when we respond to our situations of scarcity with gratitude, we are bearing witness to the goodness and faithfulness of God. We are showing others that our God is a God who provides, a God who cares, a God who is more than enough.

Generosity in Giving

As we ponder the richness of this passage, we find ourselves drawn to the act of giving ... View this full PRO sermon free with PRO

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