How to Show Appreciation to God and Others

We‟re completing the series on teamwork today with some thoughts about showing appreciation to God and others. Thursday is Thanksgiving Day and today is our church‟s anniversary – so how do we display gratitude. After all, appreciation should be more than just a feeling. We should TELL and SHOW God and others that we appreciate them. But how is this done? In what tangible ways can we demonstrate our appreciation to God and others for who they are and what they‟ve done for us? We‟re looking today at something written by the Apostle Peter on this subject. Simon Peter walked and talked with Jesus and the Lord taught him ways to show love and appreciation. So he shared these principles with the early church in a letter. In one short paragraph of Scripture there are at least three significant ways we can show appreciation. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but it‟s a great start. 8 Most importantly, love each other deeply, because love will cause many sins to be forgiven. 9 Open your homes to each other, without complaining. 10 Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God‟s various gifts of grace. 11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:8-11 (NCV) Let‟s look at each of the three ways to show appreciation this Bible paragraph addresses. 1. I show love and appreciation to others by forgiving them. Verse 8 says, “Most importantly, love each other deeply, because love will cause many sins to be forgiven.” Sometimes the greatest way I can show that I appreciate people that I love is to forgive them.

not me. Think about it. But I‟m never going to enjoy the kind of satisfying and fulfilling teamwork we‟ve been talking about in this series if I don‟t practice forgiveness. first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge . But He also said a lot about forgiveness because He knew it would be a hot topic in each of our lives. Let‟s say someone I‟m working with on a ministry team here at the church says or does something offensive to me. No one is perfect. This is why many don‟t excel in their relationships or at teamwork. But when the hurt occurs I have a choice. not on the job. But today we especially want to see how this applies to teamwork. Jesus said. He taught forgiveness by His own example. This is the stumbling block for a lot of people. We‟re striving towards being more Christ-like but we still say and do dumb things sometimes. They haven‟t learned the great need to forgive others. Even when we don‟t even know we‟re doing it happens. But what often happens is that relationships and community are damaged because people aren‟t offering forgiveness to one another. not the people I love. Those walls have to be torn down in order for things to get done. I‟m going to show them that I appreciate them by forgiving them. Doesn‟t matter what the issue is. People hold grudges and erect walls. or I can say to myself. We‟re all imperfect humans. Or I say or do something that hurts their feelings. Jesus taught us a lot about forgiveness. I can either hold a grudge. and not in the church and community. Teamwork obviously suffers when people don‟t forgive one another. “You know what.This is a consistent topic in Scripture so it needs to be a consistent subject we cover in our examination and application of the Word of God. It can be little or it can be big. “But when you are praying. So everyone needs forgiveness. Even on the cross He asked His Father in heaven to forgive those who had sentenced Him to death and had nailed Him to a cross to die on Skull Hill. I know that person well enough to know how much they love God and are trying to do the right thing. not in their marriage and family life.

and nine times out of ten it works – only there is a serious side effect. Marriage." Jesus wants me to forgive for my own good as well as the good of others. 9. Consider this quote from “Psychology Today”: “If physical exercise had a mental equivalent. too. it would probably be the process of forgiveness.” 1 Peter 4:9 (NLT) .” (Jan/Feb 2004) Productive teamwork demands that we don‟t hold grudges.against. Every successful relationship has to have this quality. without complaining. and you will be forgiven. 2. “Open your homes to each other. Barbara Brown Taylor writes: “Staying angry with you is how I protect myself from you. and you will not be judged. "How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?" 22Jesus answered: Not just seven times. Secondly. Do not condemn others. So the first way I show appreciation to others is. or it will all come back against you. on the job. Forgive others. I forgive them. in the church – if I don‟t forgive others I‟m not going to accomplish much in life. it is also how I keep you from getting close enough to hurt me again. friendship. I show love and appreciation to others by practicing hospitality. Refusing to forgive you is not only how I punish you. 1998).” Mark 11:25 (NLT) Jesus also said. but seventy-seven times! Matthew 18:21-22 (CEV) We need to be willing to forgive to another without keeping score. It is called bitterness. Luke 6:37 (NLT) And consider this exchange between Jesus and the author of today‟s text: 21Peter came up to the Lord and asked. so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins. Even those who don‟t necessarily use the teachings of Jesus as a guideline know the power of forgiveness. “Do not judge others. and it can do terrible things to the human body and soul. In an article in Christianity Today (Feb.

that. And a great number of privacy measures have to be taken to protect our identity and to protect our personal information so that we have isolated ourselves in this hi-tech world in which we live. We might conclude therefore. although persecution of Christians is taking place in other parts of the world.” “I don‟t know how to invite. They needed places to stay and friends to provide food and shelter until they could get resettled. Even as a church we need to be careful to maintain a clear sense of purpose in being hospitable.” (1999. Here are some excuses from the book. It doesn‟t matter if we entertain friends with a back yard barbecue or host a Christmas party. especially in my college days when .” “I don‟t have an expensive or big house. “Hospitality Clues for the Clueless. hospitality meets our God-given need for togetherness. Our lives are so busy. When we open our homes for a meal or even for a Friday night to fellowship with friends to play games. it becomes a great team-building measure.” Do you know why God says not to complain? Because He knows that what we‟re prone to do.” (One a personal note: I‟ve been in a lot of homes. People start to feel connected again. Promise Press) “I know I should have people over. so I can‟t have people over. Right away we think of all the excuses for disobeying God‟s Word. One big reason we need to practice hospitality in our culture today is because people have an incredible sense of being disconnected. “Open your homes to one another without complaining. it isn‟t occurring here in America so this doesn‟t apply to us. all over the country. People are hurting but they don‟t have a setting in which to let their hair down and be healed. But hospitality is necessary for other reasons. The Bible says. We have complaints (excuses) about why we can‟t be hospitable. but I don‟t know where to start. Hospitality offers that setting.When the Apostle Peter wrote these words hospitality among Christ followers was especially needed because of the persecution that was displacing great numbers of believers and making them refugees. As a consequence we don‟t feel close to very many people anymore.

Mary showed her openness by sitting at His feet and listening to Him. When Jesus dropped by for a visit. creative. and generally acted as if serving them was a privilege. „he [Zacchaeus] came down [from the sycamore tree] at once and welcomed Him gladly. I wouldn‟t know what to serve. and unique. arranged for their feet to be washed. Tell God what you need. Zacchaeus showed a sense of expectancy and excitement at having Jesus over for a meal. pray about everything. Being hospitable means being humble enough to serve others. (Luke 10:38-42) After all.” And the book of course is written to those needing encouragement and ideas to be more hospitable.‟” (Luke 19:6) The book goes on to say the things that make us say “no” to hospitality are: Worry. [“Don‟t worry about anything. (Genesis 18) He gave them a humble greeting. Abraham showed humility when he entertained three unexpected guests – the LORD and two angels. instead. Jesus did not require a perfect hostess – just somebody perfectly content to listen to His words of wisdom… “M = Manner or Mood.) The authors give a great acronym using the word HOME as a quick biblical outline of what hospitality entails: “H = Humility. It‟s a delightful book (and as a guy I don‟t use the word “delightful” very often. Worry over what we‟ll serve or what your place looks like. rather than busying herself with culinary duties.I traveled singing and preaching. A host‟s manner or mood sets his or her guests at ease. and I can relate that some of the most hospitable people I ever met lived in humble settings. Abraham‟s story is a textbook example of hospitality… [“Don‟t forget to show hospitality to strangers.‟ I want to do something fun. and thank him for all . As the Bible says.) “I don‟t want to just „have people over. for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)] “O = Openness. A bad mood or haughty manner puts a strain on guests.” “I‟m not a very good cook. Lydia‟s persuasive invitation to „come and stay at my house‟ (Acts 16:15) undoubtedly made Paul feel welcome enough to stay at her house when he traveled in the area… “E = Expectancy or Excitement. Being hospitable means being open to the needs of your guests.

” God knows our hearts. Either we secretly want to impress those we invite. I extend forgiveness. and therefore our motives. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. think about prayer first. Jesus reminded her of what was “better.” Obligation. Thirdly. “So and so had us over. your hospitality will be an act rather than a genuine pleasure. Hidden Agendas. Prayer can help you examine your motives and expectations. 1 . 7 Then you will experience God‟s peace. The book is full of so much more good stuff on hospitality. Before making a guest list. “If I invite Sheila over she‟ll see what a fabulous house I have” or “People think I‟m fun.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)] Busyness. I show love and appreciation to others by serving them. which exceeds anything we can understand. I highly recommend “Hospitality Clues for the Clueless” if you want to follow the biblical injunction to “Open your homes to each other. Power and glory belong to him forever and ever. or we think we have to set up the perfect evening to match an image we‟re trying to maintain. 2.” 1 Peter 4:9 (NLT) How can show appreciation and love to others in a tangible way? 1.” Many a dinner party has been ruined by expectations that were too high or an agenda that was too crowded with “has to bes” or “shoulds. 3. now we need to return the favor.” followed by a groan.he has done. without complaining. 10 Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Although Martha of Bethany was the “Martha Stewart of the Bible” she was so busy she had little time to enjoy Jesus‟ company. Sometimes we think we have to prove ourselves when we invite people over. Be good servants of God‟s various gifts of grace. Practical stuff. I open my home to others to show them my love and appreciation. I can be hospitable. 11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. so this whole evening has to be fun. If you‟ve ever thought. Amen. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives so that in everything God will be praised through Jesus Christ.

The founders realized the fatal lure of celebrity. I use the gifts of grace that God has given me. one of America‟s greatest entertainers with a career spanning from the 1920‟s all the way to the 1970‟s. I remind you that there is a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) MINISTRY form in the worship folder that you are requested to fill out and return by the end of the month so that we can establish our ministry teams for next year.Peter 4:10-11 (NLT) I talked to you about this last week. the personality. He went by “Bill W. And sometimes you‟ll see the need to do more than you first thought you would. was asked to be a part of a show for World War II veterans. (Even Bill Wilson. I realize that you can‟t do everything you‟d like to do for others but you can do some things. Don‟t feel like you have to turn it in out of guilt. one of the primary founders of AA just used his last initial. Jimmie Durante. the abilities. Ever wondered why Alcoholics Anonymous insists on anonymity? The purpose is not only so that people can attend AA meetings without being exposed to the outside world as alcoholics. There is the added reason that no one is allowed to use AA as a vehicle to fame. The . the heart and the experiences that God has given you to serve others on ministry teams. No one is lifted up above another. but if they wouldn‟t mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next engagement. But if you have a genuine desire to use the spiritual gifts. He didn‟t give them to me so that someone would give me glory.”) The only way to remain a fellowship of drunks helping each other is by this kind of service. Whether they‟re speaking gifts or serving gifts. Guilt is not a good motivation for service. serving one another. fill it out and turn it in. This is the kind of servanthood Jesus calls us to – a society of sinners helping each other. he would come and perform for them. God gave me gifts so I could give them to others! I need to be a good servant of God and others. He told the director of the show that his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes. I show love and appreciation to others by serving them. then by all means pray over it.

you‟ve probably wondered by now why this sermon was entitled. and that‟s exactly what they were doing. Backstage someone stopped him and said.” when I haven‟t talked about showing appreciation to God. 11 Anyone who speaks should speak words from God. We all need each other in order to serve God effectively. 1 Peter 4:8-11 (NCV) . “I thought you had to go after a few minutes. 10 Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Word. He went through the short monologue and then stayed. without complaining. 104-105) That‟s such a great story on serving others AND on working together as a team. “I did have to go. The applause grew louder and louder and he kept staying. But together. guess Who is honored? Read that last part of verse eleven of First Peter chapter four again: 8 Most importantly. But when Jimmy got on stage. something interesting happened.” by Tim Hansel. “How to Show Appreciation to God and Others. When I extend forgiveness to others.” In the front row were two men. Get this. Anyone who serves should serve with the strength God gives SO THAT IN EVERYTHING GOD WILL BE PRAISED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. each of whom had lost an arm in the war. they were able to clap. We‟re all kind of like those two WWII veterans. One had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left arm. because love will cause many sins to be forgiven. 9 Open your homes to each‟s director happily agreed. In fact. Be good servants of God‟s various gifts of grace. 1987. You can see for yourself if you‟ll look down on the front row. POWER AND GLORY BELONG TO HIM FOREVER AND EVER. love each other deeply. (From “Holy Sweat. loudly and cheerfully. pp. when I practice hospitality toward them. What happened?” Jimmy answered. and when I serve them by using the gifts God has given me. AMEN. Finally he took a last bow and left the stage. but I can show you the reason I stayed.

.I show appreciation to God when I follow the protocol that He has set for me to observe toward others.