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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #30 --- Gratitude
Quotations on Gratitude
Gratitude is characteristic of those who know values. We fail others most when we fail to acknowledge their goodness of heart. Nothing makes anyone happier than being appreciated. It may require more generosity to receive graciously than to give gladly. The best way to liquidate a debt of kindness is on the installment plan. The dignity of gratitude lies in a long memory. God is less likely to find ingratitude unforgivable than man. The Lord wills that we pay part of our obligation to Him in good will toward our fellow man. We cannot begin to ask the Lord for as much as He already has given us.
---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 28, 1954.
Some persons appeal to the Lord for help without considering if they have established any sort of credit rating with Him. Everyone is limitlessly indebted to the Lord, who is repaid something on account by faithful gratitude to Him and by kindly regard for others. A credit rating with the Giver of All Good—and Forgiver of All Evil—is never more important than at the Last Judgment—when mercy is the one thing everyone desperately will need.
---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 5, 1955.
More important than the count of blessings is their due evaluation. Awareness puts the seal on possession, and the worth of possessions is in proportion to appreciation of them. Not a few people think all their problems might be solved with the acquisition of wealth, but a great many well-to-do persons could wistfully tell them otherwise. Wealth is a limited medium of exchange with relation to the best things of life which often are taken for granted because they are commonplace and free. Indeed, some persons would be happy only if they lost everything they had and then recovered it in short order. There surely is no true American who would not sacrifice any or all of his material security—even life—in preference to acceptance of totalitarian enslavement.
From its inception in the time of the Pilgrims, Thanksgiving in this country has combined holiday enjoyment with faithful recollection. To give thanks is to acknowledge indebtedness to a benefactor; otherwise one is not grateful but merely gratified, if not complacent. Our American Thanksgiving Day should be one of humble mindfulness of Him from whom all blessings flow. That is in our cherished national tradition. Gratitude for the American heritage of necessity includes a renewed sense of responsibility to the God of our fathers. We are grateful to Him only insofar as we keep faith in Him and forbear offending Him. Thanksgiving is graciousness toward the Giver of All Good.
In this spirit, we more heartily enjoy all the day’s blessings—the nearness of our dear ones, the comforts of home, the mood of repose and contentment, and the realization that life has compensations over and above its cares and trials. It is a day for reflection that the pursuit of happiness well may bring us closer to God.
---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 24, 1960.
Gratitude to kindred, neighbors and friends is but a steppingstone to the consciousness of the eternal goodness that is encircling us in our daily life. Let the memory of the burdens and anxieties that have overtaken us be buried beneath the consciousness of the manifold blessings that have come to one and all of us. Let us reverently and in the spirit of the master reflect upon the blessings that are really left for us to enjoy, to be heartily thankful for. And may the peace of God, which passeth the understanding of man, remain as the guardian angel of our home festival.
---E.Q.S. Osgood, Vermont Phoenix, Brattleboro, Vt., Nov. 29, 1907.
Gratitude is the last fruit to ripen on the tree of life. It grows nearest the top and needs infinite sunshine to ripen it. It is the easiest shaken off by the rude blasts of indifference. It is good for us to think of these things and try to give our better selves an opportunity to ripen and mature.
---U.G.B. Pierce, Washington Times, Washington, D.C., Nov. 29, 1906.
Gratitude is as becoming to the soul as beauty is becoming to the soul; is as becoming to the soul as perfume is to the violet; is as becoming to the soul as perfectness is becoming to God. It is a part of every true nature, and the man who is not thankful, who is not habitually thankful, whose very soul is not robed in thankfulness, loses not only the mightiest inspiration for this life, but loses the sure hope of the everlasting life. Be ye thankful.
---John Paul Egbert, St. Paul Daily Globe, St. Paul, Minn., Nov. 30, 1894.
Among all the blessings for which mortals should give thanks the blessing of a thankful heart should have a high place. This spirit of gratitude, which recognizes God’s good guidance in all of life, and is not merely resigned to His providences, but grateful for them, is a trace of the divine in the human. For it was God’s own Son who taught men to say, “Father, I thank thee.”
---William T. Ellis, Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, N.Y., Nov. 20, 1909.
The most ungracious thing in the world is ingratitude. To have a thankful spirit enables one to see some good in every situation, and consequently to bring good out of every possible condition. Every Thanksgiving Day is a summons to us to give thanks unto God, and show forth gratitude to Him who is the Giver of all good, and who doest all things well. There is a form of thankfulness that is not necessarily religious, and that is not directed towards God, but the only true gratitude is that which glorifies God. We should be thankful that we have every reason for faith in God, and in the victory for the Christian gospel. We live in a calamitous day, when the foundations of civilization are crumbling. But God’s throne has not toppled, it is not even shaken. With God’s help it is possible to build a better civilization, a more Christian one, upon the wreckage of the old. Let us have courage and be thankful to God, and dedicate our lives to His holy will.
---Frederick L. Harper, Geneva Daily Times, Geneva, N.Y., Nov. 26, 1943.
To take stock of our moral reserves, our helps of grace from Divine Providence, the courage to do things for those we love, the consciousness of our heritage of kinship with the Giver of All Good and the true appreciation of things worthwhile in life, is a saving and salutary thought heading us for a real prosperity of personal integrity, honest joy in living and being worthwhile. That joy will best be found in sharing that which we can spare with those who know only a deficiency. Wealth has ever been overrated and for consolations of the spirit we have never been sufficiently grateful. Of course, brighter days must and will come but in the interim let us be cheerfully proud and wholly grateful for the forces that God gives us—the strength of heart and the inspiration of spirit to carry on.
---Burrows Matthews, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 22, 1931.
A recognition of blessings should be accompanied by the spirit of gratitude to the Supreme Father, who is the giver of all good. Otherwise half the sweet of life is lost. Gratitude is beautiful and profitable. But the Christian should remember that all the good received is through Jesus Christ, and that every circumstance in life merits the gratitude of a good man, for whom all things work for good. (See Psalms 90:1; John 4:16; Romans 8:28.)
---J.E. Gilbert, St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, Mo., March 22, 1902.
Ingratitude is one of the basest of sins. It is the sin against love. It is forgetfulness of the heart. It is worse than revenge, for revenge is the returning of evil for evil, while ingratitude is the returning of evil for good. If ingratitude is place first among the vices, gratitude may well be given preeminence among the virtues of the heart. The measure of ingratitude is the extent of the benefit received and the motive which inspired its bestowment. God’s gifts are always the richest and His motives are always the highest. Time would fail us to enumerate all the blessings which God has bestowed upon us. But we must not fail to praise Him for that spirit of hopefulness which He has given us, which enables us to rise, undaunted, above every obstacle.
---George A. Hough, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, Calif., Nov. 30, 1906.
With deep gratitude there are always solemn thoughts of responsibility for blessings. The most thankful man is the one who thinks and seeks to have vision. Real thankfulness to God is in serving Him. In vain do we express with our lips our thankfulness, unless behind it all is the heart which seeks to perform the whole duty of men to God and his fellows. People can only really show thankfulness to God by recognizing the truth that bread alone cannot satisfy the human heart.
---Henry Bond Restarick, Hawaiian Gazette, Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 27, 1908.
To be thoughtful is to be thankful. To feel that we are in a world where a transcendent power is ever driving men and things along a path that leads upward, to have a sense, as most good men have, that we are treated better far than we deserve, to have the faith that we are ever embraced in the arms of One who shapes our ends rough to hew them as we will, to feel that there we are but in the anteroom of real life and to know that in some future Paradise of God our souls shall blossom forth into beauty and strength, is source enough for gratitude for those of us who are inevitably to be counted among the mediocre people of our day.
---A.W. Ryan, Duluth Herald, Duluth, Minn., Nov. 30, 1916.
One of the greatest virtues is gratitude for life. To know that one has life, to know that by contact with other lives, by deeds of love and charity, and to know always that there are higher planes of life just ahead and that those exalted planes are to be reached by forgetting the faults and by remembering the virtues—these are the great truths that inspire love for life. A common plane of brotherhood [is] founded upon the principle of gratitude for life, based upon promotion of virtue by accepting the common brotherhood of man, built upon a foundation of honor to God by deeds of charity, and blending these great truths of life to the building of a citizenship in harmony with them.
---John F. Easley, Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., Dec. 9, 1914.
“In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” A life of prayer which is not balanced with corresponding praise will become morbid and morose. Prayer without praise is the liturgy without the “Amen.” God requires that each of us should stamp our prayer with the seal of praise before He impresses upon it the mightier seal of His fulfillment. We are to thank Him before we see the answer. For a life thus spent in prayer, amid the practical things of every day, will have as many divine causes for thanksgiving as it has for supplication, and everything that comes to us will be a new testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of God.
---A.B. Simpson, The Christian Alliance and Missionary Weekly, New York, N.Y., July 4, 1890.
God cannot confer His blessings unless we acknowledge the benefits received, but if you openly avow His goodness He will freely vouchsafe His guidance and every other blessing. Our praises for past mercies make our best prayers for future needs. Gratitude is a Christian virtue; guidance seems to be conditioned on it. The trouble is a good many of us have forgotten how to say, “Thank you,” to God. Life’s multitude of mercies pass unnoticed. We only stop to give thanks when we have been delivered from some manifest danger or have had some very narrow escape, as though it was more wonderful that we should be snatched alive from a wreck with the loss of all our belongings than that we should be brought safely along our way without any discomfort.
---Henry F. Cope, The Democratic Herald, Clyde, N.Y., July 30, 1909.
Gratitude is the music that is in harmony with the kindness of God. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God.” There is no room here for the discord of complaint. The purpose of God in redemption is to bring the discordant nature and life of man into perfect harmony with His own nature and will. Calvary gives the keynote. It is through the death of Christ that we are reconciled unto God, and through this reconciliation that our whole being is brought into harmony with God.
---A.C. Dixon, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., July 15, 1901.
Thanksgiving is the highest form of worship. To many, prayers are merely begging for something, and the reason we so often fail to receive the answer is because we beg God for a blessing, and when He gives it, we forget the Giver. Ought not every day be prefaced and concluded by giving thanks to God? All we have, all we are, and all the good there is in the world are the gift of God to us. Some people talk about the Bible being too narrow in its view of life, but by following its teachings the complainer would find it to his life as the lighthouse to the ship lost upon the sea, as a signboard by the roadside telling the traveler which way to go, and warning him which way not to take. None would fall out with the signboard. So should we thank God for the Bible and let it direct our lives.
---Robert W. Leazer, El Paso Herald, El Paso, Texas, Nov. 27, 1920.
Are we not tempted for forget God? Sometimes the more our gifts multiply, the less we think of the Giver. Spiritual values are seen more clearly in the cold, crisp, spurring air of hardship, or even of poverty, than in the warm, soft, lulling atmosphere of comfort and wealth. We forget God because we forget others and our real self. Those are two of the chief sources by which God is known. When one forgets these how can he remember God? Now if one’s prosperity leads him to forget his neighbor, his real self, and his God, what is there left, I ask you, worth remembering? Those of us who think that just because we are prosperous, we are on the way to glory, had better think some more. Thank God for prosperity. Yet, but see its dangers and avoid them. Are we mistaking the good for the best, the immediate for the ultimate, time for eternity, things for God?
---Harold Cooke Phillips, The Daily Argus, Mount Vernon, N.Y., Nov. 19, 1926.
We talk glibly of what God wants. He wants us to be merciful, humane, fair. We claim to know what is pleasing to Him. When all is said and done, we may settle down to the consciousness that what God wants is only what the truest and best men he has made want, and that there is nothing so pleasant to him as that adoration and thanksgiving which we have learned to express in terms of loving service to our fellowmen.
---Charles Clark Pierce, Los Angeles Herald, Los Angeles, Calif., Nov. 29, 1908.
We ought to have more Thanksgiving Days, not the legal kind, but private thanksgiving days when we take time out to be grateful. Is our greatest blessing a plentiful harvest? Or national prosperity? Not really. It is something more intimately personal: The peace of heart that comes from God's pardon in Jesus Christ. Recognize it, accept it, and it will put a song into your mouth in the darkest hour. It will cast a glow over your life that nothing can dim.
—Oswald C.J. Hoffman, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Nov. 14, 1953.
Gratitude to God is never coupled with a defamation of His creatures. You can't thank God with one breath and turn around and assassinate your neighbor with the next; you can't thank God with one breath and lie about somebody the next; you can't put that over on God--no sir! Gratitude to God is never coupled with a defamation of His creatures.
—Billy Sunday, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 30, 1918.
Gratitude for past blessings can best be shown by making them live in the present in a growing and enlarging way.
—Omer S. Thomas, The Herald of Gospel Liberty, Portsmouth, N.H., Nov. 27, 1924.
Be thankful that life is offering you new adventures in loving. Adjust to the new opportunities. Make the most of them and your personality will take on new charm with the wisdom gained in the new conditions. Everything now depends upon you and your attitude. God is not failing you. He is leading you. The only danger is of your failing Him. Now is the time to keep your faith in God, make high choices, and believe with all your heart that God is at work in these conditions, seeking to bring to pass the highest good for all concerned.
—Henrietta Heron, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 23, 1939.
[Read Psalms 100:4-5.] Thank offerings should be made with the heart. The thoughts of God’s manifold mercies will move the heart to offer praise. Such gratitude will also seek and find utterance. But thank offerings should also be made in the way of following Christ, visiting the sick, and caring for the destitute and the oppressed. We should offer praise because God has declared it to be His will, because He is well pleased therewith. ... Thanksgiving is followed by a happier life, by receiving more blessings than were we ungrateful, and the giving of thanks joins us to the best of men. You have entered His gates, bless His name, for the Lord is good.
—August Huelster, Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wis., Nov. 26, 1875.
As we count our blessings, let us warn ourselves against current dangers–too much luxury, too much indulgence in excesses, physical pleasures, rioting and intemperance, too much complacency, satisfaction with things as they are, too much dependence on self and not enough looking to God, too much indifference to religion and neglect of its principles.
—Duane G. Hunt, Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 26, 1948.
It is harder to be thankful for that which have always possessed than for what which God sends us in the hour of need.
—Lloyd O. Ivie, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, May 28, 1931.
Gracious thanksgiving from a purified heart is the best sacrifice. It is God-exalting. It tells of the greatness and goodness and mercy and judgment and lovingkindness of God and His wonderful works to the children of men. It proclaims the excellence of His name and sets forth His honor and thus glorifies Him in the eyes of others. Thanksliving is a lofty thanksgiving.
—D.W. Key, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Dec. 13, 1923.
"Whom, when Paul saw, he thanked God and took courage." (Acts 28:15.) Thanksgiving is the divine side and courage the human. There is no better way to get up courage than to stop and count our blessings. If we did this, we would no longer be dull and low-spirited, but bright and happy, even though the future hang heavy with disappointment before you.
—W.W. MacMillan, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., Nov. 22, 1898.
The Lord has no use for grumblers and when a man gets down on his knees and begins to grumble with a feeling of discontent in his heart, the Lord will not hear him. Our petitions should be full of praise and thanksgiving. We should rejoice in the infinite goodness of God and be thankful for all His mercies.
—Dwight L. Moody, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 7, 1895.
Let our hearts swell in a great symphony of gratitude to God for the countless manifestations of His loving kindness.
—Pat M. Neff, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 29, 1923.
No greater barrier to progress in prayer can be set up than ingratitude to God.
—J.E. Nunn, Amarillo Daily News, Amarillo, Texas, Aug. 31, 1935.
Prayer and thanksgiving are the two movements of the pendulum of human life.
—David S. Phelan, Western Watchman, St. Louis, Mo., April 6, 1905.
Gratitude touches every phase of life if we are in touch with God. ... The discovery of the fact of God working in human life is the secret of our hope and source of continual thanksgiving. It is the thing that indicates that the world is not all and impresses the relation between the Creator and the created, the sense that God is in touch with the world and is working in and shaping it.
—Frederick N. Parker, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., Nov. 26, 1909.
Gratitude is the fuel of great lives.
—Miller Robinson, Matador Tribune, Matador, Texas, Nov. 23, 1961.
Let us not forget tomorrow the blessings of today. ... Blessings remembered tomorrow are doubly blessed. They minister life and health today and loving trustfulness tomorrow. We, most of us, get but half the good of the divine blessings. Material blessings of today should be transmuted into spiritual sacraments in all the days to come. We can make them so and we should. Life would be richer in its blessedness if we only did this.
—James T. Ross, Hereford Brand, Hereford, Texas, Aug. 5, 1926.
Ingratitude is the product of unbelief.
—Carl Schmid, Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, N.M., Sept. 2, 1923.
Gratitude heightens the power of enjoyment. Gratitude is the spice to the cup of contentment. Gratitude is the mark of the humble, who are never oppressed with the idea that they deserve more than they get. We have never known a sullen, torpid and discontented mind to express feelings of gratitude. ... Gratitude to God rescues work from dullness and harshness.
—Fulton J. Sheen, North-Central Louisiana Register, Alexandria, La., July 20, 1956.
Thanksgiving is a good time to count our privileges. But with each privilege comes a commensurate responsibility of world citizenship. Our great peril today lies in clashing ideas. Our opportunity lies in the human spirit to rise to heights sufficient to enable man to master himself as well as his physical universe.
—A. Frank Smith, Dallas Times Herald, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1951.
What is gratitude? It is twofold. It is appreciation for that which one has received and carries an obligation to do something in return. Every gift brings obligation and gratitude implies appreciation and recognition of the obligation with willingness to shoulder that responsibility. The most favored must be the servant of all, bearing the load for the less privileged.
—A. Frank Smith, Monroe Morning World, Monroe, La., May 19, 1946.
We can manifest our gratitude to our Heavenly Father by kindness to His children who are in need, and our own peace of mind and contentment will be greatly enhanced thereby.
—George Albert Smith, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Dec. 23, 1920.
We rob God when we refuse to give Him thanks for His favors. Many of our prayers are unanswered because we have neglected to thank God for the prayers He has already answered.
—Charles Stelzle, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 25, 1922.
Heart, endurance, patience, faith are wonderful Christian words. With the heart man believes unto righteousness; by faith in God man is enabled to endure; confidence in the fulfillment of promises works patience in the life. He whose heart will hold out to the end in the battle of life is he who exercises a good memory in recalling the past and its nature, and who refuses to lose confidence in God’s abiding grace. It is a good thing to remember God’s mercy toward us and to recall His judgments against sin. The Hebrew Christians had seen the outcome of many mercies of God in themselves and in their fellow believers. The writer admonishes them that he who does despise the grace of God and crucifies Christ afresh must perish without hope. ... To establish our hearts it is a good thing also for us to recall God’s mercy. By His mercy He saved us, by the washing or regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, says St. Paul.
—W.E. Pugh, St. Petersburg Evening Independent, St. Petersburg, Fla., Nov. 22, 1926.
Thankfulness should be one of the characteristics of the people of God, and the closer we live to God in obedience to His word the more grateful and thankful we become. ... 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We may not be able to thank God for everything, such as adversity, calamity, sickness or sorrow, but we are told to be thankful in everything. With this attitude, circumstances are bound to change for the better, for nothing can take us out of the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Let us be thankful in everything. Let us unitedly repent of our unthankfulness, lest the destroyer also destroy us. Truly we are blessed far above others, and yet we are undoubtedly the most unthankful. May we thank our Heavenly Father for such a great and full and free salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord who came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save and give life, and that more abundantly!
—Mark N. Landes, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Fla., Feb. 17, 1963.
Thankfulness is one of the finest spiritual antiseptics one can administer. The old gospel song, “Count your many blessings,” is good psychology, good religion, and good sense. The Apostle Paul, in writing his immortal 13th chapter of First Corinthians, said, “Love does not reckon up her wrongs.” By that he must have meant that the loving person does not keep a list of his affronts, his insults, his grievances, or his slights. He who makes a list of all the benefits he has had at the hands of God, and who reviews the list at the beginning of the day, has insured his well-being and happiness for the day. There is something cleansing about the attitude of gratitude. ... The central doctrine of Christianity is that all of life issues from the heart of God, and that “God is love.”
—Roy L. Smith, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., Nov. 19, 1960.
Note: More quotations on Gratitude can be found in these Hubs: Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #29 and Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #2.