Cultivating the Gratitude Attitude

sermon notes by Pastor Vradenburgh

Colossians 3:16-17

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Ephesians 5:19-20

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”

Gratitude is a Way of Life

“Paul’s words in our text suggest that gratitude should not only be a frequent topic of speech but a way of life.  In verse 15, Paul linked a peaceful heart with a thankful one. Many want peace, but they fail to see how their pride and ingratitude rob them of that very peace. By nature, we are not thankful people. That’s why we need to honestly examine the Scriptures to learn how to cultivate the “gratitude attitude.”  Just like forgiveness and love, gratitude is a choice.  Should we not dwell upon our mercies instead of our miseries?  Should we not speak more of what God has given than what He in love has withheld from us?”

Four things we must do if we would cultivate a thankful heart:


“giving thanks to God and the Father’

  • Thanksgiving is indispensable to true worship rendered to God (Psalm 100).
  • To be Christ-like, one must be thankful (Matt. 11:25; John 6:11, 23; 11:41).


“always for all things…in everything give thanks”

  • Because of the things that never change, we can be thankful “in all things.”
  • Because of God’s sovereign power to “work all things together for good,” we can be thankful in all things (Rom. 8:28).
  • Because God is love, we can be thankful for all things (1 Thess. 5:18).


  • Paul contrasts gratitude with six vices (Eph. 5:3-4).
  • Paul associates ingratitude with heathendom (Rom. 1:21).


“singing and making melody in your heart…”, “singing with grace in your hearts”

Include all three scriptural categories of Christ-honoring music.

  • “Psalms”
  • “Hymns” (Matt. 26:30)
  • “Spiritual songs”

Music must come from our hearts to God (“in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”).

Gratitude is a way of life that pleases God. A thankful spirit honors the Lord. It is Christ-like.  It is the antidote for pride, the cure for complaining, and the deterrent to falling prey to an “entitlement complex.”  I challenge you to choose gratitude and become the person you’ve always wanted to be around!


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About Friendship Baptist Church

Our purpose is to make much of our Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel through the preaching of His Word and the making of disciples. At Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) we teach the Bible in order to facilitate spiritual growth in all of God’s people and to provide opportunities for Christian fellowship. God has graciously used Friendship to further His work both locally and across the globe since 1965.