It is impossible to please God with our leftovers.
Look at the person to your right. Tell them: I am grateful for you because ______________________.
The world consumes our time, our attention, our affection, and our money. Many times we give God what is left over. He desires more and deserves more. God deserves our best. The Israelites got tired of their manna, and we often get tired of Christian life, instead relegating our relations with God to Christian duty. We must not be lukewarm but burn with a red-hot fire for God. Negativity has no place amongst believers. We ask God for everything. We must approach him with a thankful heart. We must exalt God as our number one priority. Gratitude is one of the ways we show our love to God, and it will change our lives!
1. Very quickly: Write down the five things for which you are most thankful.
Read Matthew 6:33 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
2. Pastor Chris challenged us to reflect on 2016. Over the last year, where has God ranked in your priorities?
Read Malachi 1:5-10.
3. What do you think God is saying about what is happening and how he feels?
Read Philippians 4:17.
4. Bob Goff, a prominent Christian leader and author, says, “How do you prove who you are?”
A) So, how do you prove who you are?
B) How can you better prove your love and gratefulness to God?
Read Proverbs 18:2.
5. Negativity and thankfulness do not go together. Can you think of a way to be less negative?
Read Hebrews 11:1-11.
6. How does this passage explain faith? How are words related to faith?
7. Explain how actions were affected by words and faith in the above text.
Read Jeremiah 48:10.
8. Explain how the above scripture could related to questions 6 and 7.
Read Luke 6:46.
9. Are you willing to do what God has instructed us to do?
10. As a group, create a list of positive, grateful affirmations and a prayer for unity and gratitude as a group that you will each read/pray daily for 7 days.
1. Was God on the list? If so, where was He on the list? It is very important to God that we put him first. Our own lives will be more happy and successful when we put Him first with our time, money, service, and loving others.
2. Discuss with those who want to share. Ask each person to set specific attainable goals to exalt God to #1 (for example, I will attend service every week, I will tithe 10%, I will serve in a certain way, etc.).
3. He is explaining that they were giving him the scraps, the worst, and the leftovers. If an important leader such as a governor were to visit, they would have given him better. This makes God feel despised, dishonored, and disrespected. This is unacceptable. God does not have to accept this.
4. A) Our words and actions prove who we are. B) Being intentional in making sure that we put God first in our lives. (Encourage to make goals!)
5. The # 1 way is with your words! Your words have power. Stop speaking negativity over your life. Instead give thanks for all things as the scriptures instruct.
6. Faith is claiming things that aren’t as if they were. God used words to create the world; Jesus became the word alive in the flesh. Words are powerful.
7. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah took the words to heart and were grateful for them before they saw the result of the words. They went to work with their actions because they believed the words and they saw great miracles.
8. Failing to put God first, act on faith, and show your gratitude is the opposite of God’s will, creates negativity, and is destructive for believers.
9. Discuss commitment to gratitude, faith, love, and obedience to God.
10. Examples: I am grateful for Jesus; I will go boldly before the throne of grace; I am healthy; I will seek God first; the church will be united; our families are well; we are God’s children; we are abundantly favored; Faith Promise will have a spirit of gratitude. (Anything that is at the heart of the group.) This is an exercise in praying in one accord with Pastor Chris. He is praying for a spirit of gratitude to consume Faith Promise. It is also an exercise in speaking life, positivity, and faith over our lives and each other.