Summary: God expects us to thank Him.
An Attitude of Gratitude
November 23, 2014
Community Thanksgiving Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: God expects us to thank Him.
Focus Passage: Luke 17:11-19
Supplemental Passage: A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. (Psalms 100:1-5 NASB)
Introduction: One day a woman was rushing home from a doctor’s appointment. The doctor had been somewhat delayed at the hospital, and the lab work took a little longer than usual, so by the time she left the clinic she was running quite a bit behind schedule. She still had to pick up her prescription, pick up the children from the baby-sitter, and get home and make supper, all in time to make it to the prayer meeting at her church that evening. As she began to circle the busy Wal-Mart parking lot, looking for a space, the windows of heaven were opened, as it says in Genesis, and a downpour began. While she wasn’t usually the type to bother God with small problems, she began to pray as she turned down the row closest to the front door. "Lord, you know what kind of a day I’ve had, and there’s still an awful lot to do.
Could you please grant me a parking space right away, oh, and close to the building so I don’t get soaked." The words weren’t even completely out of her mouth when she saw the backup lights of a car come on at the end of the row. It was the best space in the whole parking lot, right next to the handicap spots and straight out from the front door. She made straight for it and as she pulled in, she said, "never mind God, something just opened up."
When my children were growing up, we taught them how to say “thank you” when they were given something like a cookie or a piece of candy. We did not want them to take anything for granted and to learn to be grateful for what they received. It was so cute to hear them say “kank kou” as they were learning to talk. Today, they are both gracious young women who have learned the value of gratefulness. Our society doesn’t seem to value gratefulness any longer. People are living in a “gimme gimme gimme” state of mind or even an “entitlement” mindset, that, somehow, they are owed things. But the value of a sincere “thank you” can never be underestimated. It goes a long way in a society that has forgotten how to be polite and how to be grateful.
I. Position of Need
a. All ten lepers stood off at a distance
b. Local law of the time segregated lepers from the rest of society
c. They knew their place
d. Sin does the same thing with us today
e. We are separated from God without Jesus
II. Petition Agreed
a. All ten lepers had the same request
b. All ten lepers begged for mercy
c. Jesus gave them all the exact same instruction, “Show yourselves to the priest”
d. All ten lepers obeyed without question
e. God shows mercy to us all in the exact same way, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus
III. Praise Indeed
a. Only one leper came back to thank Jesus
b. Only one leper came back to worship Him at His feet
c. Jesus healed ten and asked where the other nine were
d. God expects our thanks
Application/Invitation: What if the only things you had tomorrow were the things you thanked God for today? We might end up with a meal. But that might be it for a lot of us. Some of us, not even that. We must learn to be grateful to God for the things He has given us. God expects us to say “thank you.”