Victoria Osteen - Express Gratitude Through Actions
The other day, my son did something so nice for me. It was really special. He went out of his way and took his time to really make me feel good, and I did. I was so appreciative of what he did. I called him up and I said, "Jonathan, thank you so much for what you've done for me", and I began to gush, and he said, "Mom, I did it because I knew you'd like it and I wanted to make you happy". He said, "Mom, thanks for all you do for me".
Well, as a parent, I was taken aback. I thought, "That's amazing, his generosity and his kindness towards me", and, you know, it just took my heart and moved it. It made me want to do something even more special for him. It got my attention, and, you know, we always want our children to be kind. We want them to appreciate what they have, so we teach them that. But when they actually do it, we're like, "Praise God, that's amazing". You know, and it moves us. It moves us, and see, I believe that's exactly the way it is with our Heavenly Father.
You see, he wants us to do the things that are going to enrich our life, and when we actually do them, it moves him. It moves his hand of blessing. You see, God knows that we are mature enough to be able to handle what he has next for us. You see, when we say to God, "I not only praise you and I thank you, but I'm going to take it a step further, God, and I'm going to show you my thankfulness by my expression and my actions". You see, there's nothing closer to the heart of God than his children doing something for someone else.
You see, we were put on this earth to not only be the praise to God's glory, but to be his hands, to be his feet, to be his kindness, to be his compassion. The Bible clearly states that we are blessed to be a blessing. We are blessed by Almighty God so that we can go out and express our blessings through our actions, not just through our words. I'm not talking today about just material blessings. Yes, God wants you to have more than enough. But you know what I'm talking about? I'm talking about those blessings of favor, influence, peace, joy, fulfillment, purpose, the things that God gives us when we praise him and when we show our praise through our actions.
You know, my son's maturity, like I said, made me want to go out and do something else for him. It made me understand that, "Hey, he can be trusted. I believe this blessing is not going to harm him, but this blessing is going to help him. It's going to help him grow, mature, and be everything that he's been called to be", and do you know, I think that we all need to go out and think every single day, "What can I do to please God"? And try to reach this level of maturity that says, "God, it's not just good enough that I thank you, but I want to show you, through loving people, my gratitude, my expression of thanks from me".
You know what? God is moved when we do that. When we go out and make someone else's day, you know what we're saying? We're saying, "God, thank you for making my day". Because when you make someone else's day, God'll make your day. When you do something for someone they can't do for themselves, pick them up, take them to a doctor's appointment, pick them up when their car's broken down, call them, cheer them up, do something that no one else can do for them, you know what? God's going to do special things for you. You see, there is a law and a principle in God's word, and it says, "When you give, it'll be given back to you. When you sow good seeds, that good harvest will come back to you".
See, God knows exactly how we operate at our highest potential, and he knows that when we are giving him praise and we are finding our purpose and expressing that praise by helping others, we're at our highest potential. You see, you could have all the money in the world, but you could be as miserable as ever because you don't have purpose. You're not functioning at your highest potential. But when God, when he blesses you, there's no blessing like it. There is nothing like the blessings of Almighty God. So let's make someone's day and realize it's God going to make our day. You're making our day, God.
Listen to what it says in Hebrews 13:15 and 16. It says: "Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, with the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name". Then it goes on to say this: "And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased". You see, he not only wants us to express our thanks by praise, by thanking him, but he doesn't want us to forget, to take that blessing and pass it on. See, that's what pleases the heart of God.
You know, it's easy to praise God when everything is going good, right, when people are being nice. You got that promotion at work. Your kids are doing great. Hey, everything is wonderful. It's easy to praise God. What about when you're facing a challenge, when it doesn't look like you're going to have enough? How about your facing a spiritual battle, and you don't know why, but for some reason, you just don't feel grateful? You see, that's what it means when it says, "To offer up a sacrifice of praise".
See, it's something that you don't necessarily feel like doing. You may not feel grateful today. You may not look at your bank account and think you have enough, but that's when God says, "I know how you operate. I've designed you, and I know that if you will continually, no matter how you feel, offer up this sacrifice of praise, but don't stop there, don't neglect passing on this gratitude to someone else", he says, "That's when you'll live a life that is fulfilled. That's when you will please me". You see, when you please God, the scripture says, "He will do things for you that you cannot do for yourself". The Bible says, "When you please God, he'll make even your enemies be at peace with you". Listen, when you make pleasing God your highest priority, I believe that's when you'll see your life go to new levels, and you'll see God do things for you that you couldn't possibly do for yourself, amen? He's an awesome God.