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Gratitude: What You Appreciate, Appreciates

What you appreciate, appreciates… When you learn to appreciate more of what you already have, you will find yourself having more to appreciate.
Matthew 25:23, “His lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” The word “Faithful” Greek here means: trustworthy, trustful. Matthew 25:28-29, “Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” So as written above: What You Appreciate, Appreciates… According to the WORD the determining factor to having “abundance” (living a quality life) is being trustful or trustworthy. You CAN be trusted! So as abundance is given to a vessel of “trust”, the implication is “I am responsible for, and care for what I carry, possess or contain, based on my perceived value.” When we depreciate something, we devalue or diminish its worth. When we appreciate something or someone we give value with approval and praise! When we appreciate things, we “mean” to increase their worth. It’s impossible to feel grateful for something or someone that we do not value! Proverbs 31:10-11, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil”She is a vault – a “safety depository” – carrying the most valuable possession of a man – his heart. So, he has no need of “spoil,” no “booty,” to loiter… Remember, Gratitude means “the feeling of thankfulness and APPRECIATION.” The etymology is “thankful and pleasing.” The root is “gratus” or “grace” meaning God’s favor or help. Also, associated meanings: Pleasing, Quality, Favor, Good will, Agreeable. It’s from the pie-base “giver” meaning: To praise, To welcome, To sing, To announce. So being grateful is really to “praise”, to “welcome” and to “announce.” The only way I can praise or have an attitude of gratitude in all things, is by His grace, meaning: Kindness and Favor. Therefore, without grace I cannot truly be appreciative and thankful. So when I am gracious, I am grateful which literally means “enjoying favor!” Look for What is Right and Appreciate It. The word “appreciate” has several meanings: To be thankful or show gratitude; To raise or increase in value. Think of everything you criticize regularly and you will see where you have failed to appreciate or find value. The moment you participate in the “depreciation” process (you stop valuing) and that is the moment you block your ability to experience gratefulness and ultimately abundance. The Law of Recognition: What you don’t recognize will eventually exit your life. What you celebrate, appreciates. Anything unrecognized remains uncelebrated… a gift, a miracle, a person. What you respect, you attract! Remember- You can’t conquer what you don’t confront, and you can’t confront what you don’t identify – LET’S LOOK AT SOME OF THE OBSTACLES TO BEING GRATEFUL: Familiarity can be fatal: It’s where you begin to take things for granted. It’s when you go through life unaware of the multitudes of blessings and gifts that are here each and every moment. Psalm 90:12 (NIV) “Teach each of us to number our days aright, that me may gain a heart of wisdom.” Time has always been a part of God’s creation. As time passes it is not lost as much as it is invested. Hour by Hour we invest time in celebration or resentment, rest or worry, giving or grumbling. Invested wisely, time enables us to enjoy a sweet today and avoid a sour tomorrow… You must break any “entitlement fallacy” that you are “owed” something in life and begin to change an attitude of ingratitude by imagining how empty your life would be without the blessings of God given to you. Often we don’t appreciate what we have until we lose it! Here are the steps to take: Remind yourself that there are no ordinary moments. Resolve to cherish each and every day of your life. Awareness causes you to embrace your life journey with gratitude, so HOW you travel your path is more important then reaching your ultimate destination. Here are some obstacles: Complaining. Complainers remain and praisers get raised. The complainer always feels short-changed, deprived and picked on in life. They consequently become envious and bitter towards those who seemed to have been blessed with what’s missing in their own life. They tend to suffer with secret resentment. Hannah and Peninnah are a classic example. Her blessing was salt in the wound of Hannah’s failure. Another obstacle is finding fault, or being judgmental. Important to understand- Gratitude is rooted in grace! When grace is your case, you are non-judgmental. Non-judgmental of yourself, of others, of events, of situations… Romans 3:23-24, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”You must extend yourself and others the same love and mercy that God extended to you! Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved.” That means I must live the same patterns and practices of Jesus (to be non-judgmental) and practice forgiveness. Gratitude comes with forgiving any offense, hurt, pain, anything… Letting it all go and extending grace & love! By walking in forgiveness you relieve yourself of the burden of carrying the hurt, anger pain, isolation, and all that occurred as the result of an “act” against you. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive he who is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us…” –Martin Luther King Jr. Once you make compassion a higher priority then judgment, it makes sense to forgive. So to be a person of non-judgment means to be a person of grace. This doesn’t mean you have compromise and no conviction, that you just “trust” everything and every one. Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” No – because we died to “sin” in Christ, therefore how can we live IN IT any longer? “Fault-finding” is not a matter of what you observe in your world but when you choose a critical or angry point of view! Its what you do with what you see. Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude- Develop an awareness of yourself as a recipient, not a victim. Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Say, “Thank you” – Psalm 100:4 (KJV), “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Tell those around you how much you appreciate them! John 15:12 (KJV), “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” Cut off complaining and criticizing- Psalm 34:13 (NIV), “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” Proverbs 10:31-32 (NIV), “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.” Change your way of thinking to powerful and positive! Philippians 4:8 (KJV), “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Remember, it’s the nature of thought to increase. The more your thoughts center on what is missing, the more deficient you will feel. Attitudes create atmospheres, which create actions. The natural extension of being grateful is the development of a generous heart. If it’s too much to give, it’s too much to receive!
 

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What You Appreciate, Appreciates

His lord said unto him, well done,
good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful
over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Matthew 25:23

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Matthew 25:28-29


This month we are looking at all the things that make up “gratitude.” Gratitude is more than being thankful, and it’s more than knowing you have more than what you “deserve.” Gratitude flows from a person’s heart when they see the good in God’s character, the good in themselves, and the good in others. Gratitude is based in God’s grace.

The key to having gratitude is that we look for what is right, and appreciate it. That’s why the Word of God says in Philippians 4:8, “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.”

The word “appreciate” has two meanings:

      1. To be thankful or show gratitude

      2. To raise or increase in value

I want you to think of everything you criticize regularly. I mean everything! Is it your car, your home, your quirky personality, your own body? Is it your coworkers, your children, your spouse, your boss, your in-laws? Think of the things you criticize regularly, and you will see where you have failed to appreciate or find value.

The moment you participate in the “depreciation” process, you stop valuing. That is the moment you block your ability to experience gratefulness and ultimately abundance.

What you don’t recognize will eventually exit your life. Whatever you recognize as valuable and celebrate will also appreciate. Anything unrecognized remains uncelebrated; whether it’s a gift, a miracle, or a person.

The currency of the kingdom is in relationships. Too often God sends people into our lives who are interested in us, want to bless us, and care about us with the love of God, but they go unrecognized and unappreciated. When we lose those people, we lose opportunities, valuable allies, and sources of blessing and support. But whatever you recognize as valuable and celebrate will appreciate and thrive in your life!

Sometimes, God will send us a “Jonathan.” A “Jonathan” is a long-term relationship designed ultimately to bring us into our destiny. A clear sign of a Jonathan is that God supernaturally places a desire in that person’s heart to bless you. They have so much joy in blessing you, they ask for nothing in return. They just want to bless you!

Familiarity towards these God-given vessels of blessing can be fatal. It’s where you begin to take things for granted. It’s when you go through life unaware of the multitudes of blessings and gifts that are here each and every moment.

Gratitude flows from a person’s heart when they see the good in God’s character, the good in themselves, and the good in others. The key to having gratitude is that we look for what is right, and appreciate it. Abundance is birthed when we appreciate the people, gifts and miracles placed in our lives. Magnify the blessings of God – so that He may trust you with more!

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Forget Not All His Benefits

Gratitude is about finding what is good and magnifying it by appreciation and celebration! When we appreciate and celebrate the people, miracles and gifts of God in our lives, we begin to prosper because kingdom assignments are fulfilled and expanding!

A growing body of scientific research is finding a direct correlation between graitude and better health, greater physical and emotional healing, more success at accomplishing goals, and improved relationships. This is because gratitude focuses the mind on what’s right rather than what’s wrong, and magnifies the blessings of God.


“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.”


It is the nature of thought to increase. Focusing on what is wrong magnifies feelings of being deficient. Have you ever thought about a problem for so long that you actually become exhausted? Dwelling on stressors has been show to elevate levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a hormone released to trigger “fight or flight” reactions. Elevated cortisol levels are connected to heart disease, obesity, overeating, and emotional disorders. Shut off that fight-or-flight by turning to praise!

Don’t let people exit your life because you’re not recognizing them! You never know the blessing that lies within a person. God has assigned people, miracles, and gifts to your life. Are you recognizing them? Praise God for the people, miracles and gifts He sends to you!

It’s a fact that those who have a strong, loving support group of family and friends tend to be healthier than those who are isolated. Isolated people deal with life’s issues in negative ways: withdrawing, becoming bitter, controlled by fear, unforgiveness.

Don’t withdraw from God’s kingdom – expand it! If you’re not already, become a part of a group of believers in a Bible-based church. Serving side-by-side with fellow believers in your local church is a great way to nurture or develop kingdom relationships. Praise God for your relationships!

Gratitude is recognizing what is right, and celebrating it! People who have gratitude move towards abundance because they’re magnifying the blessings of God they already possess. When we denote value and worth to what we are and what we have, we are faithful with it. When we are faithful with what we are given, we are given more. Praise God for your valuable possessions and offices of responsibilities!

Gratitude is about finding what is good and magnifying it by appreciation and celebration! Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits! When we appreciate and celebrate the people, miracles and gifts of God in our lives, we begin to prosper! This is because praise magnifies the blessings of God, and you perceive their value. When you recognize the value of what you have, you become more faithful. When you become more faithful with the blessings you already have – you come in to abundance!

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Praisers Are Raised

His lord said unto him, well done,
good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful
over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Matthew 25:23

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him
which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given,
and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Matthew 25:28-29

During the month of November, we hear a lot about gratitude. Gratitude is more than being thankful for your blessings. Gratitude flows from a person’s heart when they see the good in God’s character, the good in themselves, and the good in others.

Gratitude is about finding what is good and magnifying it by appreciation and celebration. When we appreciate and celebrate the people, miracles and gifts of God in our lives, we begin to prosper because kingdom assignments are being fulfilled and expanding!

Every person of God exists within a certain culture and paradigm which has worldly mentalities and attitudes that are contrary to God and must be fought against. We are commanded by God to cast down these arguments and rationalizations, and every high thing that would exalt itself against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:5).

I don’t like the word “deserve.” I have had people say to me in the past about success in the ministry, “Good for you. You deserve it!” I felt like saying to them, “No, I don’t deserve anything! If I got what I deserved, I would be in hell.” One worldly mentality we must war against is something I call “the entitlement fallacy.”

You must break any “entitlement fallacy” that you are “owed” something in life and begin to change an attitude of ingratitude by imagining how empty your life would be without the blessings of God given to you.

Steps to Breaking the Entitlement Fallacy

Remind yourself that there are no ordinary moments. Resolve to cherish each and every day of your life. Awareness causes you to embrace your life journey with gratitude, so how you travel your path is more important then reaching your ultimate destination.

Stop complaining. Complainers remain, but the “praisers” get raised! The complainer always feels shortchanged, deprived and picked on in life. They becomes envious and bitter towards those who seemed to have been blessed with what’s missing in their own life. They suffer with secret resentment.

Are you faultfinding and judgmental? Gratitude is rooted in grace! When grace is your case, you are non-judgmental of yourself, of others, of events and of situations. You must extend to yourself and others the same love and mercy that God extended to you.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”

Romans 3:23-24

But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins,
hath quickened us together with Christ,
by grace ye are saved..

Ephesians 2:4-5

Every person of God exists within a culture with ungodly attitudes that must be fought against. Since we belong to the kingdom of God, we must fight against the arguments of entitlement, complaining and faultfinding. These three mindsets are enemy strongholds that block our blessings! Don’t let enemy strongholds block your blessing! Gratitude is rooted in grace. God’s grace empowers us with the freedom to love Jesus, ourselves, and others without judgment. When we recognize what is right and praise God for it, we are ready to be raised!

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Abundance

Ultimately, God wants you to prosper! The Word of God says it like this: “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2). How does our soul prosper? We come into abundance by being faithful, and we become faithful by having an “attitude of gratitude.”

What you appreciate, appreciates! When we learn to magnify the value of what we already have by praise to God, we will truly see the value in what we have. When we perceive our value, we are faithful to care for and be responsible to ourselves and what we have. So gratefulness flows out of grace. Grace shows you your value. Your value causes you to be faithful. And being faithful brings you into abundance!

His lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant;
thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Matthew 25:23

Faithful in the Greek means “trustworthy, trustful.” Isn’t it interesting that part of being trustworthy means also being “trustful”? Since we are faithful people, we believe others are faithful, too. Not because we become an easy target, but because filled with faith, we see the good in others. To the pure, all things are pure (Titus 1:15).

See what happens to the fearful servant:

Take therefore the talent from him,
and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance:

but from him that hath not shall be taken away
even that which he hath.”

Matthew 25:28-29

According to the determining factor, to have “abundance,” we must be faithful – “trustful and trustworthy.” This means you are safe and can be trusted. You make a promise and don’t change, even if keeping your word is unpleasant due to unforeseen circumstances. Abundance is given to a healthy vessel of “trust.” The implication here is that “I am responsible for, and am thankful for what I carry, possess or contain, because I know it has value.”

It’s impossible to feel grateful for something or someone that we do not value. What do you value? What do you not value? When we depreciate something, we devalue or diminish its worth.

When we appreciate something (or someone!) we give value with approval and praise. When we appreciate things, we “mean” to increase their worth. This is the attitude we need to cultivate for our souls to prosper and to be counted worthy to be a ruler over many.

Imagine that a leader comes into power who devalues and diminishes the people under them. That leader would be detrimental to the people they led. That leader would be seen as critical and destructive to those around him. This kind of leader could not cause their people to grow and prosper.

In order for you to become the leader God wants you to be, you have to become an “appreciator” of the people and things around you. When we see the treasure in others, we have true admiration and respect for them. When we act faithfully, we open the door for them to become who they are in Christ!

This was the secret of the man with the 5 talents.

The man with 5 talents who gained another 5 did so by “appreciating” the value of his own talent and using it to gain other valuable talents. We can bring out other people’s talents by “appreciating” those around us and being gracious to them. When we do this, we come into abundance, because we are being both trustful and trustworthy! These are the leaders God is raising up!

God desires for you to appreciate your family, friends, material things and even your enemies. We can’t do this without the work of God in our hearts by faith in Jesus Christ. The grace of God can work in us and others when we are gracious, grateful people. When we make it a way of life to be gracious, grateful people, we are faithful, and can be trusted with more. Body of Christ, we must become grateful people, and then faithful..only then will we be ready to possess the abundance of the land He has for each and every one of us!

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