The Outward Expression of a Grateful Heart

In a previous blog we saw the sin of ingratitude and it is clear from scripture that ingratitude is the result of ungodliness. When a person loves the Lord and walks in his light he will express a grateful heart. But what is the evidence of a grateful heart or what will be the outward expression of it. We see the outward expression of ingratitude; it is complaining, rebellion, murder laziness. These truths are presented to us in II Timothy 3;1-5

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Did you notice that being unthankful is right next to unholy? They go hand in hand.

I was thinking of what is some outward evidence a individual may show when they are truly grateful. As I prayed and pondered the Lord impressed upon my heart King David. We know about his great sins the murder he committed , the adultery. These are sad episodes in a great mans life. This is David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, the man after Gods own heart. Its hard to imagine that this is the giant killer David, but it is!

But when David was confronted with his sin by the prophet Nathan he quickly humbled himself and sought the Lord.

Psalm 51

King David confesses his sin to God here, and it is a great prayer and we see his heart. The words; Thankfulness or grateful do not appear but it is ever evident just the language he uses.

J Vernon McGee outlines Psalm 51  nicely into three divisions:

1) Cry of Conscience and Conviction of Sin Psa_51:1-3;

(2) Cry of Confession of Sin and Clemency (Compassion) of God—Psa_51:4-8;

(3) Cry for Cleansing and Communion— Psa_51:9-19.

So then what are the outward evidences of a thankful heart, The Lord gave me three points here and I trust you will forgive the author of any typos or punctuation errors and simply ask God to speak to your heart and it is my prayer that God will deal with your heart as he did with mine

I)                   Soulwinning 12-13

A. Restoration 12a

             David realized he was out of fellowship with God and he sought to have their fellowship restored. A Christian can spend quite some time out of fellowship with God if he is not careful. The heart is quick to turn cold and the child of God must guard his heart. David sought to have fellowship restored.
      B.  Redemption 12b

“Free spirit”: It is a phrase that refers to the freedom from sin that only God can provide. He has been under such a weight from the burden of sin and he needed deliverance. It carries with it the thought they we were in the slave market of sin and we have been freely purchased by our Saviour. he did not purchase us to make us slaves but set us free.

C. Rescue 13

Now that David has restored his fellowship he can now effectively win the Lost. When a man appreciates what God has done for him he WILL want to tell others this good news. He cannot help but want to to tell others. When you understand the magnitude of mercy you have received you will want to tell others. You will want to be a witness for Christ and hand out Gospel tracts and see people trusting Christ as Saviour. You will rejoice int he salvation of friends and family.

I don’t think a man is truly appreciative of what God has done for him if he is not caring for the soul of his fellow man. David confesses he wants to see sinners saved, and shouldn’t that be our desire?

II)                Singing 14 -15

I listed below and excellent little outline from Spurgeons notes on the this Psalm

A. When God does not open our lips we had better keep them closed.

B. When he does open them we ought not to close them.

C. When he opens them it is not to speak in our own praise, and seldom in praise of others, but always in his own praise

D. We should use this prayer whenever we are about to speak in his name. “O Lord, open,” etc.

A christian may not be a great singer but he will want to sing when he is in love with his God. He will want to sing good music not junk. When an individual says the hate the hymns that are in the old song books I wonder how much they really do love the Lord. The Holy Spirit that indwells me loves those songs and rejoices in them.

But even beyond singing itself a man will want to talk of God and love his Saviour

III)             Sacrifice 16-19

 A.  Willing to give if required

While it is true God did tell the children of Israel to offer sacrifices but they were to offer them with a willing heart. He did not want a sacrifice if it was given with the wrong attitude. David is making the point that that he could have just simply offered a sacrifice and walked away and just did a religious little deed. But God does not want religious deeds. He is seeking hearts that love him

B. Willing to be broken 17

        Too many Christians have dry eyes! They have never wept over sinners or had the tug of the Spirit on their hearts while they read the scriptures. Let me ask you, when was the last time you shed a tear on your Bible? When did your heart break as you read of Davids fall or get upset when that bunch of heathen rejoiced at he fall of Samson? When was it that you read the book and the Spirit of God moved on you and you were humbled by the grace and mercy of God?
Why don’t you stop right now friend and ask God to move upon you and ask him to break your heart and make it tender like it once was. You know when you are not right, you know when you are cold and indifferent. Seek him him now Christian friend and ask Him to help you.
  C. Willing to please 19
   David was now ready to do whatever God wanted. He uses the phrase “the sacrifices of righteousness” Godly living has a cost! There is a price tag to pay. When we are thankful we will want to please our God We will want to live to please Him. David had sinned and was under a penalty of death for his sin, but he found mercy. Now he wants to live in such a way that the world will know he is a man of God


Here are just three outward evidences of a grateful heart. Let these evidences be true of all of us

God Bless

Pastor Matt S.

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