Part 3, Why Church Is Important
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Expectations are the direct consequence of the goal we set in life. As a result, we build a culture of entitlement. We have built unreasonable expectations that we thought we deserve or have the right to have. And if we don’t get them right away, we become impatient and all sort of unhealthy feelings will negatively impact the heart. The remedy to unhealthy feelings is to develop a heart of gratitude to the Lord. Deep sense of gratitude must come from the heart. David says, “1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” Psalm 103:1-2. It is at the innermost of our being where the heart of gratitude must reside.
Here are some of the things we need to thank God for.
1. God gave us a new life with Christ.
“Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath…4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7.
God gave us Christ’s life.
Eternal life has a future as well as present dimension.
God gave us the privilege to enjoy eternal life today.
He secured our position in heaven.
He chose us to bear the richness of His grace.
2. God is constantly at work in your life.
“28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” Romans 8:28-29.
God is constantly at work in the believer’s life.
He is not against us but is for us.
He has nothing but good intentions for us.
His purpose is to bring back the image of God in us.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11.
Anything outside of God leads to the wrong path.
He gives us satisfaction in His work.
His presence in us gives joy.
He keeps us by His side to guide.
3. God has given us the privilege to worship Him.
“1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5.
Praising God is a form of worship.
The psalmist recited his praises aloud.
His praises were not ritualistic but sincere.
He understood the nature of God.
He enumerated God’s benefits.
He saw God's work in other people.
He verbally appreciated others.
It is a good practice for reviving a heart of gratitude.
Practice the above three things today: Our life with Christ, the life that is constantly being renewed and the privilege of worship. The Thanksgiving weekend is a great time for reviving the heart of gratitude. The heart of gratitude doesn’t expect anything but is thankful for everything. It believes that anything it receives and enjoys are nothing but the graciousness and kindness of God and others.