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Summary: I preached this message on Wednesday November 19, 2008 at the Community Thanksgiving Service in Humphrey Arkansas with 5 churches participating

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11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a]met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" 14When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

Ten people were in need. The scripture tells us they were MEN. We do not know their AGES, SOCIAL STATUS, ETHNIC BACKGROUND, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, or their DENOMINTATIONS…

This was not important, what is important? THEY WERE 10 MEN in NEED. They had leprosy.

(1. We’ve heard stories of the horrors of having leprosy in Biblical times. It was a horrible disease to have. Not only was there the pain of the disease itself as there were no medicine to ease the pain or the technology we have today, but there was also the stigma that went with having the disease.

2. The Mosaic Law pronounced a leper as being “unclean”. They were not fit to enter into the tabernacle, or later, the Temple to worship. They could no longer live with their families, but the law required them to live outside the city (Num. 5:2-3). The Law required that they rend their clothes as a sign of extreme sorrow, that their faces be covered and that they cry out “unclean” when ever anyone came close to them.) (used from Robert Massey)

They were in NEED. They came to Jesus and asked that He heal them, that He touch their bodies and give them relief. THEY CAME TO THE RIGHT PLACE…. Jesus touched them & made them WHOLE.

Jesus continued on when ONE of the MEN ran back to Jesus thanking Him for what He had done. Jesus didn’t say “you’re welcome”, He asked the man if there were not TEN? “Yes there were TEN” so Jesus wanted to know where the other NINE were???

I want to take the opportunity to WELCOME each of you here tonight to the Humphrey UMC to the Annual Community Thanksgiving Service.

Thanksgiving is a “A public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness; also, a day set apart for religious services, specially to acknowledge the goodness of God, either in any remarkable deliverance from calamities or danger, or in the ordinary dispensation of his bounties.

In the Illustrate Bible Dictionary “Thanksgiving” is “praise or gratitude shown to God for what He does”……….

It is praise or gratitude SHOWN to God for what He does, not IF & WHEN He does anything, but FOR WHAT HE DOES!!!

Tonight I want to share 3 things God has laid on my heart dealing with our praise & gratitude to God:

I. Gratitude shown to God for what He HAS DONE:

I’m THANKFUL tonight for God loving us so much He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins.

John 3:16 (NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

1. God sent His only Son….

2. Jesus came from Heaven to CARRY our sins to the cross (He did not have to but He did)

3. He SAVED me in 1983. (I too was like the Lepers, I was unclean & separated from God)

On my worse day I can be THANKFUL for my Salvation.

(God had Moses build a stone monument everywhere they stopped & set up camp while in the wilderness to remind the Israelites what God had done for them in Egypt)

II. Gratitude shown to God for what HE IS DOING:

Regardless of the ECONOMY, IMMORALITY, SIN I’m THANKFUL tonight November 19, 2008 that GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!!

A lot of folks (in Jesus day it was 9 out of 10 people) today aren’t thankful unless they have new cars, nice big homes, high paying jobs, fancy clothes……

(A few years ago Peanuts had a cartoon where Charlie Brown brought out Snoopy’s dinner on Thanksgiving Day, but it was just his usual bowl of dog food. Snoopy took one look at the bowl & said “it isn’t fair, the rest of the world is eating turkey with all of it’s trimmings but because I am a dog all I get is dog food”. Snoopy stood there & stared at the bowl of dog food for a while & said, “I guess it could be worse, I could be a turkey)(used from David Washburn)

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