Scriptural Principles of Prosperity – Gratitude

Text – Colossians 3:15-17

 

  1. Introduction
    1. Today we deal with the 7th Principle of Prosperity.
      1. This study has made a distinction between prosperity and wealth:
        1. Prosperity is being contentment with enough.
        2. Wealth is having more than we can consume.
      2. An additional insight:
        1. Wealth is simply about possessions.
        2. Prosperity is encompasses more than possessions. It speaks of overall well-being. It assumes contentment, peace, and joy.
          1. It is synonymous with the Hebrew concept of Shalom.
          2. When one enjoys prosperity they are blessed.
        3. Therefore we can say it is better to be blessed than to be wealthy.
    2. The first four principles are personal attitudes and actions that determine our prosperity
      1. It’s better to be blessed than to be wealthy
      2. Prosperity is earned
      3. Trust: Depending upon God to supply your needs and meet your obligations.
      4. Principle of Margins
    3. The last three are moral principles governing how we treat others.
      1. Integrity
      2. Generosity
      3. Gratitude
  2. Basic facts about Gratitude
    1. Gratitude is an attitude of the heart that reveals its presence by the expression of thanksgiving.
    2. Thanksgiving must be expressed. While it may be felt, unexpressed thanksgiving is no thanksgiving at all.
    3. Gratitude is a character trait that is taught and learned.
  3. Exploration of the text
    1. The first observation is that in the span of 2 verses Paul exhorts the Colossians to be thankful 3 times.
    2. Notice how often in his epistles Paul exhorts his hearers to be thankful
      1. Ephesians 5:19-20 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
        1. Observation: Gratitude can be strengthened with a song in the heart
      2. Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God
        1. Observation: Although we have many request of God. The outcomes of our requests are more consistent when accompanied by thanksgiving.
      3. Colossians 1:10-12 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
        1. Note that a joyful heart is required for a thankful heart.
      4. Colossians 2:6-7 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
        1. Observation: The root of our thankfulness is the joy we have in being saved.
      5. Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
    3. Tithing is an expression of thanksgiving for how God has prospered us.
      1. Deuteronomy 14:22-29 (26b, Then you and your household shall eat and rejoice.)
  4. Why are people unthankful?
    1. A sense of entitlement
      1. They do not consider the cost and/or sacrifice of the giver.
      2. 2 Corinthians 4:7
        But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
    2. They believe they are self-sufficient, that they paid for it, or that the deserve it.
    3. They suppress the truth by their wickedness and refused to glorify and thank God
      1. Romans 1:18-19; 21-23; 28-29
        The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God made it plain to them. . .
        For although they knew God, they neither glorified  him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. . .
        Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he cave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.
  5. Conclusion
    1. The normal state that God is for people to be prosperous. Comparatively some will be poor, some will be rich and most will be somewhere in between, but all can be prosperous if we live by theses seven principles of Biblical prosperity.