Summary: Being thankful is critical to being a whole/well person.
"Being Thankful By Thursday"
November 24, 2002
FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A. The world celebrates Easter with Easter bunnies & Easter eggs & new clothes & spring breaks - heralding the coming of spring. But Easter is a holy day for Christians, a time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, His victory over sin & death, & our hope for eternal life. It is a very special day for us.
a. Christmas is another such holiday. For the world it is Xmas, & Santa Claus coming down the chimney, & toys. But for Christians, Christmas celebrates the miracle of the virgin birth. And we realize that God loves us so much that He came into our world to live & die among us, & teach us how to live both now & for all eternity.
b Likewise, for many, Thanksgiving has become just a "Turkey Day," a day to throw our diets into the wastebasket, engage in a ritual of overeating, & watch football until we’re fast asleep. But for Christians, Thanksgiving is a day to acknowledge that everything we have is a gift from God, & to lift our hearts in thanksgiving to Him.
B. Today’s message is entitled "Being thankful by Thursday"
a. 11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance  and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"  Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." -Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)
b Of the ten leapers Jesus healed only one was made whole/well. (ETS)
C Being thankful is critical to being a whole/well person (ESS.)
a I hope you’ll see how you can chose to be thankful daily. (Objective)
b Who will be thankful by Thursday? (Probing Quetion)
T.S.: Lets look at two truths that can help us be thankful by Thursday.
I The first truth that can help us be thankful by Thursday is that we are needful. (vv:12/13)
A The Leapers need kept them at a distance from Jesus.
*Levitical law on leprosy. Lev. 13:45/46
"The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, `Unclean! Unclean!’  As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp.
a They weren’t allowed to come near anybody (preists/family/friends), had to maintain a distance of at least six feet.
*Outcasts, forgotten, unmentionables,...guess where they spent thanksgiving? *How do you think they felt?
b What did the leapors need? (vv:13) Healing/Pity/Mercy
*The Jewish thought on leprosy was that God used it as a punishment. And if it God gave it..only God could take it away. (That’s why they are asking Jesus.)
B We don’t have leprosy like these men did, but we do have a spiritual leprosy.
a Started in the garden (Gen. 3:24) and it continues today (Romans 3:23)
b We need to be cured from the leprosy that is eating our soul/spirit/joy.
*We need to cry out to the one who can meet our need, "Jesus, Have pity/mercy on me."
C A pastor preached hard about God’s mercy/grace and need of our repentance.
a a man came crying to the alter and asked his pastor, "What can I do to get saved?"
b There is nothing you can do...it’s already been done at the cross!
T.S.: The turth is..all of us have a need. (Filthy rich or dirt poor..you have a need.)
II The second truth that can help us be thankful by Thursday is to be faithfully thankful. (vv:14/19)
A The lepers had to total faith in Jesus.
a Jesus sent them to the priests to confirm their healing, but the lepers weren’t healed immediately. (As they were going they were healed!)
*As they turned to make that first step towards town, nothing had changed!
b Did they receive healing? vv:14/Yes.
How many came back to thank Jesus? vv:15/16 One
Was Jesus hurt by the absence of the other nine lepers? (17/18)
Why didn’t they?
*One probably said, I was getting better any way.
....The priests would have done the same thing.