“ThanksLIVING: Awe-struck”

ThanksLIVING: Making gratitude my lifestyle
Week 1: Awe-stuck
 
Have you every witnessed a truly thankful person down on life? What if we lived every day grateful? ThanksLIVING, the art of making gratitude our lifestyle, could revolutionize our relationships, our work habits, our entire outlook on life…all for the better. Go from Thanksgiving to daily ThankLIVING. You’ll be glad you did!
 
Key Points:
-We can quickly forget the who if our attention is only on the what.
-Vital we develop our eyes to see the gift but focus on the giver.
 
Awe-Stuck – (1) Show (2) Share (3) Seek
(1) Show – We eventually will lose what we don’t use.
(2) Share – Count your blessings less, count on the one who blesses more.
(3) Seek – Focus on the “WOW!” over the “how?”
 
Bottom Line: ThanksLIVING sees the gift but focuses on the giver
 
Further Conversation
1. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving memories?
2. What do you think is different between being thankful and living a lifestyle of gratitude? Why is maintaining gratitude difficult?
3. Read Acts 2:42-47. How did ‘awe’ impact the early church?
4. Gratitude can be defined as thankfulness multiplied by awe. How would you define “awe”? Why is it vital to gratitude?
5. When have you been truly amazed (in ‘awe’) of a gift? How did you act about the gift? How did you act toward others? How did you act and interact with the giver?
6. What is something for which you are very thankful? How could you move to gratitude through Show, Share & Seek?
7. See the gift but focus on the giver. Where have you ignored to missed focusing the giver? How can you shift your focus this week? How can Christ Church help you take this next step?

Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – Luke 19:1-10
As kids, we hated being picked last. This doesn’t change with age. We want to be wanted. The religious leaders wanted Jesus to value them. Jesus didn’t ignore them. The Gospels show several times Jesus meeting with religious leaders. But Jesus had a heart and desire for the lost, those who felt like the least. Jesus wanted to help them know that God desires them. Those who felt far from God, who because of their actions might believe God would reject them, instead Jesus chose to seek. Zacchaeus was such a person. Rejected by the community because of his sin, he hoped to only catch a glimpse of Jesus. Jesus chooses him. What does it mean to you that Jesus “came to seek and save” the lost? How are you following Jesus’ example by choosing to be friends with the lost?
Pray: LORD Jesus, I was lost and you choose me. Help me see the lost in my midst, that I may go to be with them, sharing your grace.
 
Tuesday – 2 Corinthians 7:8-10
Pain always has a purpose. If I touch something hot, it hurts. But I learn to be more careful. Suffering and shame can also serve a purpose. Though God doesn’t create our crisis, many times God will use those difficulties to speak love, grace, and truth. Many people trace their greatest spiritual awakenings to their most difficult experiences. Have you experienced struggle, fear, or a crisis? Are you in the middle of one now? How might God be speaking to you, calling you with grace and truth, that in difficulty you find new life?
Pray: Almighty God, when we listen you can take our brokenness and make it beautiful. Help me to hear you, see you, and find hope.
 
Wednesday – John 8:12
When I walk into a dark room, I turn on a light. Its practically reflex. Most of us only like to sleep in the dark. Jesus’ claim to be the light is incredible Good News for all people. We walk around in such darkness today. Wars, disease, hate, and death bombard us on the nightly news. This world is a scary place of darkness. Yet Jesus comes to shine His light. Following Jesus lets us really see. Yes, seeing is sometimes painful. Jesus is perfect, and a know I am not. Looking straight into the light lets me feel and know the darkness I’m so accustomed to. Yet, imagine a life lived in the full light and warmth of the Son. Do you crave light, do you yearn for hope? Come to Jesus. Repent and follow Him and you will know light!
Pray: Light of the World, you stepped down into my darkness that I might see. Open my eyes, restore me to life, fill me with your light.
 
Thursday – Proverbs 20:29-30
“Youth is wasted on the young!” When I was a kid my grandpa used to say this a lot. Now that I’m older, I’m beginning to understand. What I’d give to know then what I know now. Wisdom is knowledge matched to experience. It can’t be taught, it must be lived. But really, what is experience? Aren’t our greatest learning experiences often our biggest struggles seen from the other side. In the midst of struggle, we have tunnel vision. All we know is the moment. But on the other side, we have wisdom. These two proverbs remind us that our pain, our struggle, is our opportunity to gain wisdom. Don’t lament, but look and learn. What is God trying to teach you today?
Pray: Heavenly Father, I often want cured of pain and removed from struggle. Instead, help me begin to learn and grow from it.
 
Friday – Psalm 34:17-18
Many of us hate to ask for help. We want to try to see if we can do it. We don’t want to appear needy. We don’t want to seem incapable. No, we want to show our power and worth. This is the core problem of pride. Pride keeps us from what we truly need. We need God’s help. We can not do life on our own. Calling out to God requires real humility. It means admitting our brokenness. It means acknowledging our real need. The Good News is God loves answering the call of the broken-hearted and the humble. God seeks to save the lost! Are you trying to prove your worth to God or are you calling our to God in humility today?
Pray: Holy Spirit, I need your help. I can not do this on my own. Help me humble myself that I might learn from you and be saved.
 
Saturday – Luke 15:1-10
Why should you go to church? Its a fair question that many ask today. We can find great preaching on the radio, TV, or internet. We can sing along to any song any where with modern technology. We can read our bibles. We can find community in small groups. If church is about what I can get from it, we don’t need the church like we used to. But what if we took Jesus’s words in these two stories seriously. What if a church worship service wasn’t about what I got, but instead about who I brought. Imagine the celebration in your soul and in heaven if you brought an unchurched, lost, friend to church, and they chose to repent and be saved by Jesus. What if they got found because you brought them. Now thats something!
Pray: Loving God, you love to seek and save the lost. So often I make it about me. Help me know the joy of seeing someone found!