THE POWER OF APPRECIATION
(A THANKSGIVING MESSAGE)
Ex – Some things to be thankful for; Show email.
Luke 19: 1-10 – Read
1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 19
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you:
Do not quench the Spirit.
James 1:17 –
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Reflect on your present blessings,
Of which every man has many,
Not on your misfortunes,
Of which all men have some
2 Timothy 3:1-2
Perilous Times and Perilous Men
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, UNTHANKFUL, unholy,
Intro: Edward Spencer was a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, and also a member of a life-saving squad during his school years. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue seventeen passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever bothered to thank him.
Worse than being merely discourteous, these people displayed a gross lack of gratitude.
Especially as believers, we need to be aware that gratitude opens up our lives for God’s will to be done in and through us.
One of My favorite holidays of the year is Thanksgiving because its beginning and its history have a single purpose: to stop and express thanks.
However, gratitude is actually to be a 24-7 attitude...not just a 1-day holiday on the fourth Thursday in November.
In a recent experiment, psychologists asked undergraduates to complete a survey that included a happiness scale and measures of gratitude and thankfulness.
Then over the next six weeks, the participants wrote down, once a week, five things for which they were grateful. It had a dramatic effect on their happiness score, and all rated themselves higher in happiness after the six weeks than before.
Appreciation and gratitude are both powerful concepts.
It’s hard to feel envy, greed, or bitterness when you’re grateful.
Appreciation and gratitude are emotional states of mind that both help to create the right conditions for pleasure that is enduring and can never become addicting.
If you could become addicted to showing appreciation and gratitude, it would be an addiction worth pursuing.
Appreciation: is the understanding of the nature or meaning of something/someone you value.
I can appreciate a beautiful sunset even though I know little about the meteorology or chemistry that creates it.
The effect of the sunset is caused by dust and moisture in the air, experts tell us, but who cares when it looks so beautiful!
I can also appreciate a gift someone has given me.
I don’t need to know how much it cost or how much of a sacrifice was made to buy or make it.
Appreciation is when something grows in value.
When you appreciate something/someone, you increase it’s value.
Ex – House/Kids/Spouse/People/the Lord
Depreciate is the opposite of appreciate.
Depreciate – decreasing the value of something/someone.
Ex – How do you feel when you are around certain people?
More valued or less valued?
Gratitude: Has more to do with people than things and with motives than facts.
Ex – I can appreciate a beautiful sunset, but I hardly feel any gratitude toward it.
Gratitude, then, adds a feeling of emotional indebtedness toward someone who has done something you appreciate.
Also, when I realize how much time someone put in to make a gift for me, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the giver.
Ex = Woman at fabric store. Crocheting purses for family.
When we feel gratitude, we not only feel appreciation but also have a strong desire to thank the person or to reciprocate the favor they have done for us.
Gratitude means that we have added a sense of indebtedness to our appreciation.
One (appreciation) is the foundation for the other (gratitude).
But we need them both.
Appreciation must precede gratitude.
We must work at becoming more appreciative to the Lord and those around us before we can be more grateful to them.
We must work at developing an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.
Finally, Gratitude rises to the next level when dealing with the Lord.
It steps up from gratitude (indebtedness) to worship (Great indebtedness).
Ex – Me – got saved! Realized what Jesus/God had done for me, a sinner!
I felt GREAT INDEBTEDNESS TO JESUS.
In knew I would spend the rest of my life sharing what Jesus had done for me with others.
Worship is an expression of our gratitude for blessings God has bestowed upon us.
How can we become appreciative and grateful people?
1. Receive God’s appreciation/gratitude of you.
John 3:16 – For God so loved you…..!
Loved – Agape – Unconditional love, by choice, and act of His will.
Unconquerable benevolence and undefeatable goodwill.
Agape – will never seek anything but the highest good for fellow mankind.
It does not need a chemistry, an affinity, or a feeling.
1 John 4:10 (New King James Version)
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Isaiah 29:11 (New King James Version)
11 The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.”
And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”
2. Remember to appreciate yourself.
Psalm 139:1-18 (New King James Version)
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (New King James Version)
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[a] and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Ex – Mirror – Appreciate who you are in Christ
Ex – Couple – met in the front lines – he got burned and still appreciates himself.
Ex – Bill Gothard – Depressed woman – Poor Self Image – Copy - Read
App – Love your neighbor as yourself.
3. Reflect God’s appreciation/gratitude back to God and to others.
Philippians 1:3-6 – Read
I’m reminded of the story of two men who were walking through a field one day and spotted an enraged bull. Instantly, the darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent that they wouldn’t make it. Terrified, one of the men shouted to the other, “Put up a prayer, John! We’re in for it!” John answered back, “I can’t. I never made a public prayer in my life.” The first man responded, saying, “But you must! The bull is catching up to us!” So John replied, “All right...I’ll say the only prayer that I know...the one my father used to repeat at the table.” With that he began to pray, “O Lord, for what we are to receive, make us truly thankful.”
University Study – people suffering from a painful neuro-muscular disorder were instructed to regularly keep a record of things they could be grateful for.
A smile – says I value you
A wave – says I value you
A hello – says I appreciate you
A kind word from someone.
A gift from a neighbor.
The scent of flowers.
Life is full of things to be grateful for, and these sufferers learned how to count their blessings.
The results were astonishing. Improving in their pain management, they felt happier and emotionally more stable.
Happy Valentine’s Day to me! I am 10 Cow Wife!
a ten cow wife via scott.club365.net
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Johnny Lingo, a man who lived in the South Pacific. The islanders all spoke highly of him. He was strong, good-looking, and very intelligent. But when it came time for him to find a wife, people shook their heads in disbelief. The woman Johnny chose was plain, skinny, and walked with her shoulders hunched and her head down. She was very hesitant and shy. She was also a bit older than the other married women in the village, which did nothing for her value. But this man loved her.
What surprised everyone most was Johnny’s offer. In order to obtain a wife, you paid for her by giving her father cows. Four to six cows was considered a high price. The other villagers thought he might pay two or even three cows at the most. But he gave ten cows for her!! Everyone chuckled about it, since they believed his father-in-law put one over on him. Some thought it was a mistake.
Several months after the wedding, a visitor from the United States came to the Islands to trade, and heard the story of Johnny Lingo and his ten-cow wife. Upon meeting Johnny and his wife the visitor was totally taken aback, since this wasn’t a shy, plain, and hesitant woman, but one who was beautiful, poised, and confident. The visitor asked about this transformation, and Johnny Lingo’s response was very simple. "I wanted a ten-cow woman, and when I paid that for her and treated her in that fashion, she began to believe that she was an ten-cow woman. She discovered she was worth more than any other woman in the islands. And what matters most is what a woman thinks of herself."
Ex – Bill Gothard – Depressed woman
Ex – LaFaye and I – symphony – homeless woman.
Asked for $10.
Jesus said if they ask for coat, give tunic also.
I had $3 and a $20 bill in wallet.
I gave her the $20.
We prayed for her and trust God He will take care of her.
Ex – Jehovah Java – Micah – helping. He looks forward to it. Makes him happy.
Gratitude is a powerful healer.
Steps to an attitude of gratitude:
1) Right down 5 things you are thankful for and to whom each week
2) Send 1 thank you card/email/text a week to someone.
3) Call someone just to tell them how much you appreciate them (1x week).
4) Words of encouragement. (Bary – kids)
5) Meaningful/appropriate touch. (Me – Kids – scratch kids back/LaFaye – foot rubs while pregnant).
6) Serve someone – ex – Jesus – didn’t come to be served, but to serve.
7) Glad Game – (in everything give thanks) – Every time something bad happens in your life, instead of wallowing in your misery, find something redeeming in you circumstances, and then focus your thoughts on what is good about it.
8) A Smile
9) A wave
10) A Greeting/hello
Philippians 4:8 (New King James Version)
Meditate on These Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Box of Cards and Letter of Appreciation
The value of something can be determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it.
Ex – Houses - Paintings – Diamonds – People (Jesus valued you and I at such a high price, no one could out bid him).