Creflo Dollar - Living the Grateful Life
If you have your Bibles this morning, I want to share some things with you I feel you can take with you throughout the day and it will be a blessing to your life. I want to talk to you about living the grateful life. It's not just, you know, a cliche or something. It's just something that really is so powerful that happens when you live this life.
You know, when we give God our thanks and praise the way the Bible tells us, we release supernatural authority over whatever situation we are facing. And God knows that some of you have faced a lot of different situations so far and yet biblical thanksgiving is not just a worldly holiday tradition or a religious activity, but rather, it's an everyday spiritual tool that we can use to stay on top and defeat the devil. Thanksgiving is what frees us from the stress and the pressures while God is getting personally involved on our behalf. And when we are grateful, and when we are thankful Christians, powerful, supernatural forces from heaven are unleashed that cause things to work for us the way that they should.
You know, one of the things that's very tempting, and we've gotta be very careful not to do and allow ourselves to get there, is that when things are not working the way that they should work in our lives, sometimes there's a temptation to sink into self-pity. And I want you to know you can do that, but if you allow yourself to sink into self-pity, you miss out on what's on the other side of all of the attacks that come your way. I thought it would be awesome for us to get together this morning so that whatever may be working right in your life, you can be thankful for it. Whatever may not be working right, right now, you can be thankful that God's got a way out of that thing and it's just something about coming together and leaning on one another so that we won't yield to that self-pity because when you yield to self-pity, you open the door for the enemy to come in and just try to destroy your life.
Don't allow one day to mess up your whole year. You know, it's just one day, praise the Lord. And we're thanking God for this particular day but so many people allow the pressures of this one day, or things didn't work out one day, or who showed up, or who didn't showed up for this one day, or what got cooked and what didn't get cooked for one day. Turn to your neighbor and say, "Chill". 'Cause we're not here celebrating us. We're not here celebrating you. We want to turn the attention where it really belongs. We want to turn the attention to the Lord Jesus Christ where we can focus on Jesus Christ, and you can start when your eyes opened. "Thank you, Lord, that I can see another day".
You want to focus on Jesus Christ who allowed you to, here's what we used to say in the Baptist church, he allowed you to wake up in your right mind. Come on, somebody, still having use of your limbs, amen, still being able to see. You can you can start off with small things, but when you don't have the use of those so-called small things, they all of a sudden become very big things, amen? And so, it's the attitude of just being grateful. It's the attitude of being grateful for, first of all, you know, you and your relationship with God. And how can God use you on this day to share with other people what he shares with you? This day of staying away from self-pity, staying away from, you know, allowing your emotions to govern your day. Don't do that. This is the day that the Lord has made. We will, come on, rejoice and be exceedingly glad in it, amen. And so, be glad today. Be glad today.
Look at 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, and verse 18 and I want to show you that there's a tremendous amount of power that God intends on releasing in and for our lives if we won't neglect thanksgiving, if we won't forget to be thankful, if we don't allow ourselves, you know, in Malachi, I believe is chapter 2, they were judged because they didn't give thanks. Thank God we're not under that, amen? But look what he says, I'd like to see this in the King James, and then the Amplified. He says, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you". What an odd thing to say. He said, in everything give thanks.
Now, he didn't say give thanks for everything. Don't thank God 'cause you ain't got no gas. Don't thank God because you just got beat up by your husband. That's not what he said. He said there is such a power invested in the sacrifice of thanksgiving that he said, do it in everything, no matter what it is. When it's good, in that, give him thanks. When it's a little interesting, in that give him thanks. When you don't even know what's going on, pause and give him thanks. Now, look what he says in the Amplified. He says, "Thank God in everything no matter what the circumstances may be".
You know, we all have different kinds of circumstances. We've gathered here this morning, and there are lots of circumstances that are represented in this room. There are financial circumstances, there are physical circumstances, circumstances with your health, relationship, circumstances with your relationship, and all kinds of circumstances. And I am saying, pause. "What pastor just said"? Selah, and just thank God, for what? Thank him for the other side of whatever you may be going through. Thank him for the answer. Thank him for the good part of whatever you may be going through. I tell you, it's an anointing. He said, "No matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks".
So, not only to give God thanks, but be thankful. Be thankful for where you are right now. Be thankful for what you have right now. Be thankful for the job you have or the one you getting ready to get right now. And if you can't find nothing else to be thankful for, be thankful that you have a God that sits high and looks low, amen. Be thankful and give thanks, for this is, this is a powerful statement. It's the will of God for you. It's the will of God for you who are in Christ Jesus. Those who are born again, it's the will of God. It's the will of God that you give thanks. It's the will of God that this is not, you know, just a once in a in a year thing.
We live a thankful life because thankful Christians are gonna be fruitful Christians, and you have a father who wants his children to be fruitful. But it's difficult to b fruitful if you don't respect being content. We gotta learn how to be content. There's a profit that comes from being content. Yeah, maybe things are n exactly like you want it, and maybe it didn't work out exactly like you wanted it to work out, but thank God, I am gonna be content where I am. I am gonna learn how to be thankful where I am.
There's something about learning how to be content where you are right now before you'll see progress for where you want to be. But there is nothing that happens when you open your mouth and allow a bad negative emotion to move you into a place of not being grateful. And most of the time, we get to that place of not being grateful when we start comparing ourselves amongst ourselves. When we start comparing what you have with what somebody else have, when you start comparing somebody's family with your family, when you even start comparing a commercial, a public commercial where everybody at the table having dinner and everything together, "Oh, that ain't me". When you do that, all of a sudden you lose contentment, and you become ungrateful, and you start complaining about what you have and where you are.
So you don't drive a Mercedes. So you're driving a 1975 Honda, but that Honda hasn't let you down not one day. And one of the things you gotta be careful is when you start, you know, being critical and ungrateful for what you already have. I mean, God has done something for you. You need to be appreciative of what he has done for you and in your life, but we you start comparing, you start belittling the blessings of God in your life. I said when you start comparing, you start belittling the blessings that God has given you in your life. So, everybody always thinks they have it worse off than somebody else, until you can get in somebody else's shoes.
Oh, you think, "I wish I could be them", until you get in their shoes. It's easy to smile and put paint on the face and come to church and look happy. Some of them folks would trade their mansion to be a part of your 1,000 square foot house where they can come together and be rich in the love of family. Some of you rich and don't even know you are 'cause you only think rich pertains to money. But I'm telling you to be rich in love, and rich in joy, and rich in fellowship, and rich in all of these things that we seem to neglect.
I am saying this is the day that we want to show thanksgiving to Jesus for allowing us to live this life. I'm grateful for my life. I never thought I would even have a time where I would see any joy in cooking, but this might be my fifth year cooking my Thanksgiving meal. And I'm not cooking for who coming, I cook a feast every year. I don't care who come, don't come 'cause Friday is leftover Friday. "Well, they didn't eat all the ham". Well, it's ham sandwiches Friday and Saturday. You got to learn how to be thankful for the small things in your life, and I tell you, that's how you get promoted to the big thing. But God wants you to be thankful all the way up. Every step you take, be thankful for it.
So, you gotta start where you are being thankful and then there's another step, being thankful. And then there's another step, being thankful. And there's another step, being thankful. And in one of those steps, you just gonna have to break down and just cry, "Lord, you just don't know. I'm so doggone blessed". And then nobody understands your tears but you and God because there's no way you should be where you are right now, except it was for the Lord. There's no way you supposed to have what you have right now, except Jesus got involved in that thing.
There's no way that you can be free from the shame, and the guilt, and the condemnation that you thought you would have, but the Holy Ghost started working on the inside of you. And here you are today, giving thanks that, "I'm not what I used to be, I may not be what I want to be, but at least I'm not what I used to be. Thank you, Jesus". That's his will. That's his will. Somebody says, "Well, I don't know what the will of God is for my life". That's cause you're not abiding in the very plainly stated will of God for your life, be thankful. Sometimes you get so frustrated looking for what you're supposed to do, you just not thankful for where you are right now, amen.
I'm thankful, I'm thankful for my wife. I'm thankful that I can wake up in the morning and see my best friend right there next to me, hallelujah. I wouldn't be right if it weren't for her. I wouldn't be right. I'd probably have resign from pastoring because I'd be moody all the time. But she wake up in the morning, I still don't know how she do this, she wake up in the morning, and she still halfway sleep and can figure out how to smile and say, "All right, lift your hands up". Or she can sense I'm some getting ready to complain, she say, "Ah, ah, ah, don't say it, don't say it". She's adventurous, she's always got something working on the inside of her that's gonna probably make me so nervous 'cause I don't know about all that.
I can remember College Park, we'd stay to ourself, we stay in our house, we stay on our street, we don't be doing all that stuff, riding submarines and all that, we don't do that. Somebody say, "Should I look for somebody just like me"? No, look for somebody that can add a little flavor to your life. And listen, and when you notice the flavor, give God some thanks for the flavor that it add in your life. Now, sometimes flavor will clash, sometimes it will mix and it will taste good, but sometimes they don't work. Amen, that don't mean you give up on the flavor. No, you just move some stuff, take the pepper out, replace that with some sea salt. Go around a little bit, keep tasting because, you know, good cooking is always about seasoning. You understand what I'm saying?
I like people who cook with love. I don't like folks who be throwing stuff in there, just throw stuff on the top - cook with love. My wife asked me the other day, she said, "Why you rub your chicken like that"? I said, "I'm loving on this thing". After I put the seasoning and the marinade, I like to love on there. She said, "Thank you, baby, for cooking with love". I said, amen, praise the Lord. Some of y'all look around like, "Baby, do you cook with love"? Amen. Now, so that's the will of G for us, begin to practice that, begin to walk in that. Use today as an opportunity to say, "You know what? I'm gonna be more conscious and more aware of taking the time to just be thankful, where I am", sometimes we're so, you know, we're focused on moving ahead and not being grateful for just where I am, and I believe the gratitude and the thanksgiving is what prepares the next steps in your life.
So, if you've been wondering, "Where are the next steps in my life"? let's start with being gracious, let's start with being thankful, let's start with the will of God for your life, and I believe that in the year of 2020, that's the year of clarity, I believe that all things are gonna be made clear to you on exactly what you need to do, how you need to do it, when you need to do it, how you need to do it, and all is well with you, amen.
Let's go to this next Scripture, Luke chapter 17, verse 13 through 19. This is very interesting here because, well, I done wrote so fast, I don't even know if that's a 17 or a 7. Let's see. Yeah, this is it. "And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them". Now this is a story about the these guys who had leprosy and at that time, you know, they didn't have any cure for that. And so, they heard about Jesus and the healing power in his life. "And when he saw them, he said unto them, 'Go show yourselves unto the priests.' And it came to pass, that, as they went", underline "and as they went", as they went, "as they went they were cleansed", as they went they were cleansed. I believe the Lord is gonna begin to speak some things to you and as you go.
See, sometimes we just sit still in fear, not wanting to move, because we're not sure exactly where that's gonna end up but sometimes things happen as you go, hallelujah. I believe tonight, today as you came to church, some stuff was happening, praise the Lord. See, you can sit and worry, but you can also just move, just begin to step out. And as they went, they were cleansed. And now watch this next verse. He says, "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed", one of them, he turned back, one turned back and with a loud voice, he glorified God. I imagine that sounds like a Baptist glorifying God, "Praise God"! Probably not. And verse 16, now watch this. "And fell down on his face".
Wow, has God ever done something for you so amazing that it caused you to just fall down? Fell down on his face. Oh, yeah, I heard that. He said, yeah, that's pretty awesome. I just asked that question, has God ever done anything for you that caused you to fall down? And some of you said yes, but some of you said no. Get ready, he's about to do some things in your life that's gonna cause you to lose your balance. Oh, I felt that thing. Oh, you better be careful where you are. I don't know where you're gonna be at, but God will do some stuff that will cause you, that will rock you. You'll be standing up and running to it and, "Oh Jesus". Hallelujah. I receive that in the name of Jesus. And he fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks, giving him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
Now, watch this in verse 17. "And Jesus answering said, excuse me but, were there not ten? How come you the only one came back? Were there not ten"? He said, "Where are the nine"? Turn to you neighbor say, hmm. All right now, watch this, "There are not found that return to give God glory or thanks, except this stranger". Now, remember I said to you, wherever there's thanksgiving, there's gonna be fruitfulness and manifestation. Verse 19, "and he said unto him, Arise". Now, that word "arise" means to change your posture and your position. "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made thee", watch this, "whole". Everybody say, "Whole".
Now, you got to understand about leprosy in those days. Even in India at times if, you know, they had some more back in the day then today but still, some exists. Leprosy, where you would go to some of the leprosy colonies, and they would be missing fingers and limbs and the infection caused them to miss out on some things. So, they were healed of leprosy, which means leprosy stopped. It stopped, couldn't mess with them no more. But this one guy didn't stop, he showed gratitude. And Jesus said, "Oh, for you be made", watch this, "whole". That meant that if there were fingers missing, they had to grow back because you're not whole if there's something missing.
My question to you this mornin', you hear how I say that mornin', not morning, my question to you is, "What is missing in your life"? And the way you deal with what's missing in your life is you do and you check out what this guy did. He gave glory to God, he gave thanksgiving to God. And Jesus said, "Your faith has made you whole". What was he saying? The way you responded in thanksgiving has restored whatever was missing in your life. So, if there's anything broken, and if there's anything missing in your life, I'm advising you this morning to give God the glory and to give God thanksgiving, and he will restore whatever's missing and whatever's broken in your life.
Somebody shout, "restore"! Thank you. That's why you thank him in the middle of a hard time: wholeness comes. That's why you thank him when things aren't going right: wholeness comes. That's why you thank him when you don't have enough money to pay the rent: wholeness comes. You're not gonna know this until you practice it. You're not gonna know this. It's, and it may have to just seep out your mouth. Thank you. You might have tears in your eyes. Thank you. You may be packing, don't know where you going, "Thank you, Jesus, thank you for wholeness. Thank you that there's a way it's gonna happen".
And then one day, you gonna have that lose your balancing spirits, where God gonna show up, literally rock your world. I dare you to lift your hands up and give him thanks. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Wholeness, wholeness, wholeness. That's thanksgiving connected with your faith, wholeness, wholeness, there's thanksgiving connected with your faith. The most miraculous service we'll have every year will be a time where we'll begin to execute the will of God. Come on, give the Lord a big handclap, praise him for that, praise him for that, praise him for that. Praise him for that.