A Grateful Lifestyle


“The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God." 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 NLT

Basketball is my sport of choice. I go nuts for it. Whether it’s my brothers, niece and nephews, or the Cavs playing I become just a tad bit of an intense fan. I manage my intensity fairly well these days but years ago, I’m almost certain my commentary and vocal expressions could be heard blocks away. About 10 years ago, I was sitting in the arena of a Cavs game with my brothers. I remember being really tired and not feeling great that day, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to enjoy myself at the game. Earlier that morning, I had gone to church and didn’t participate in worship. I stared into nothingness during the sermon & couldn’t have told you what had been preached an hour later. But let me tell you. I immediately absorbed the energy in that basketball arena as soon as we walked it. It didn’t take long for me to be cheering on my favorite team so loudly I barely had a voice the next day at work.

Later that week as I was spending time in prayer with God, I began feeling very convicted (to convince of error or sinfulness.) The Holy Spirit helped me become aware that the posture of my heart needed adjusting. It was so easy for me to choose not to engage in worship at church that morning because I was too tired. But hours later at the game you couldn’t have silenced me if you tried. I should be thanking God for all the things He does for me with more enthusiasm and excitement than I have for a basketball game. There’s nothing wrong with cheering on your favorite sports team, as long as it’s not taking the place of Jesus in our lives and hearts.

From that day forward the Spirit has continued to help me adjust my heart. A joyful and thankful spirit for all God has done for us should become one of our daily habits. If life were a game, which it’s not, but if it were, Jesus has already won it when He died and rose again for our sins. That alone is worth all my adoration and praise. I want to be like the musicians and priests in the Scripture above. I want to constantly be giving praise and thanks to God so adamantly and with all that is within me that I cannot speak or think of anything other than worshipping my Creator with thanksgiving.

Gratitude is a weapon that both reminds Satan that Christ defeated him at Calvary and points our selfish hearts back to God. No matter our circumstances, let us praise our King louder than we cheer for our favorite sports team - not only during Thanksgiving season, but with every breath we breathe. Let’s make it our lifestyle.

Reflection Questions:

What does your praise and thanksgiving to God currently look like?

What are the things you’re grateful for in your life right now? Take a moment right now where you’re at to praise God for those blessings.

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank You for being a gracious God that lights up my life. You are worthy of all my praise. Stir within me a heart that never ceases to worship You. Thank You for your gentleness is adjusting my heart when needed. Abba Father, thank You for choosing me as Yours. May my gratitude always be a pleasing sound to You. In Your glorious name I pray, Amen.

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