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Summary: This message is about the power of being appreciative to God, others, and ourselves.

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THE POWER OF APPRECIATION

(A THANKSGIVING MESSAGE)

Part 2

INTRODUCTION:

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.

Charles Dickens

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.

Definitions:

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.

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