Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: The Attitude of Gratitude
Week 2: Thank You Notes
PDF file for printing:11-18-2018
- Tell your group about your Thanksgiving plans for this year as well as any special Thanksgiving traditions you have.
- Continue memorizing Philippians 4:8-9:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
What thoughts or questions come to your mind as you read this passage?
- Last week we said that our thinking is an important part of who we are and who God is calling us to be. We were challenged to:
- Let our thoughts begin and end with God.
- Aim at higher and better thoughts.
- Remember that our thoughts determine who we become.
How have you done this past week in your thinking, with respect to these challenges?
- Read Psalm 100:
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
What do you notice in this Psalm? What questions come to your mind as you read this?
- The Psalms are songs and prayers. We know Jesus knew them well, because he quoted them often. In fact, you could say that the Psalms were Jesus’ prayer book. One of the things that the Psalms demonstrate to us is that it’s okay for us to authentically express our emotions to God.
What happens inside of us when we honestly pray our emotions to God, even negative or angry feelings?
- One of the most frequent commands God gives in the Bible is to be thankful. Why do you think God asks people to give Him thanks? Is it because God needs to hear it for what it does for Him, or might there be other reasons why He asks people to say thank you?
- Gratitude is a mentality that affects our spirituality. How does it impact your spirituality when you get out of the habit of saying thanks to God?
- How does it impact a marriage or a family when the people don’t express appreciation to each other?
- Take a few minutes right now as a group to pray prayers of thanks to God.
How did it impact you to do that?
- Read Luke 17:11-19:
11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Chances are, all ten of these lepers were actually thankful to have been healed. But nine of them didn’t think they needed to bother to come back and speak that out to Jesus. How did it impact the one man who came back to say thank you to Jesus?
- How do you think it impacted Jesus to have him come back and say thank you?
Some Foundational Truths from Psalm 100
- Remember that He is God. (We are not.)
- Celebrate Recovery’s 2nd step is: “We came to believe that there is a power greater than ourselves that could restore us to sanity.”
What benefits result when we come to realize that God is God, and we are not?
- Remember that He is God. (Present tense)
- Years ago, when some atheists came out with the idea that God is dead; Billy Graham’s response was: “God’s not dead. He just spoke to me this morning!”
What are some things that help you have confidence that God is not dead?
- Remember that we are His.
- How does it impact your attitude in life to know that you belong to God and are His beloved child?
- Remember that He is good.
- Read Psalm 103 together, looking for things to thank God for:
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.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.