Have you ever had a word from the Lord? I mean a literal word. As I was reading my Bible and several of my devotion books, the Lord kept showing me this one word. It seemed to keep popping out of the page into my face. That word was “gratitude”. And like most words I had to stop and think about what the word meant. Well, of course I know that it means being grateful or thankful. But I wanted to know more. What was it again; a feeling or expression of being thankful or appreciative. Hmmm, so being grateful means that I feel appreciation and thankfulness for something given to me. A gift or an act I received just because someone wanted to give. I didn’t pay for it or I did nothing special to deserve the gift. It was just given. That is gratitude.
So I started digging deeper. Being the teacher that I am, the first thing I did was “google” the word gratitude. There were tons of references. So I started narrowing my search. I googled the Greek word for “gratitude” and came to a whole new understanding of the meaning of the word.
The Greek word “eucharisteo” breaks down to two words “eu” which means well and “chartzomai” which means to give freely denoting gratitude and thankfulness. Simply, it is being able to express great thankfulness and gratitude to someone else. But there is more so stay with me. This Greek word “eucharisteo” has at its root the word “charis”. “Charis” means grace, favor, kindness, gratitude, and thanks.
Ahhh, the root of gratitude is “grace”. That I understand. The definition of grace is undeserved favor or as I learned many years ago…God’s Riches At Christ Expense. That is Grace.
For those of us who are Christians, we understand the grace of God only through the cross. Knowing man would sin, it was God’s divine plan before the beginning of time for Jesus Christ, Son of God to be born of a virgin for the purpose of becoming the sacrificial Lamb of God for our sins by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead.
Scripture refers to this act of salvation as a gift. It is something we do not deserve for we are sinful and can not please God by anything we do, but is simply a gift given to us by God Almighty, Creator of the universe.
Romans 5: 15,17 “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, (italics mine) overflow to the many!…how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (italics mine)
Jesus was the perfect, blameless, sinless Son of God who willingly came to earth to die on the cross for our sin. It was His gift to you and to me. It was His grace and His perfect love for us that He did so. And if you have not accepted His gift of grace do so now by admitting that you are sinful and need a Savior, believe that Jesus died for your sin and rose again and confessing to God that you need His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1: 7 “We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our sin, according to the riches of His grace.”
His grace is the reason for our gratitude. He saved our souls from hell and brought us into the presence of God Himself for eternity. Our hearts should be overflowing with gratitude because of what Jesus did! It is more than thanks giving; it is more than a whispered word of thanks to God for blessings. It is more than being glad you are free from condemnation. In the depth of the soul, the grace of Jesus penetrates your heart and rebounds back to God as gratitude.
Where there is genuine gratitude, there is also worship. For the very act of worship shows God that your heart is filled with love and gratitude for who He is and what He has done. From a grateful heart there is praise and thanksgiving. And when a heart reflects the gratitude of the grace of Jesus, it sounds like worship.
A heart that is overflowing with gratitude is a heart full of praise to God.
Psalm 30: 12 “that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
Psalm 9: 1-2 “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”