Summary: We can take God’s blessings for granted or with gratitude.
INTRO.- It’s Thanksgiving time!
ILL.- Someone said, “Thanksgiving is when millions of Americans get together to drink, talk, eat, and go home again. It’s known as the four G’s: giggle, gabble, gobble, and git!”
ILL.- Someone else said, “On Thanksgiving Day all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment - HALF-TIME.”
ILL.- One grandmother said, “As our family was enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, my four-year-old granddaughter stopped chomping on her drumstick long enough to look at her mother, smile, and say, “I REALLY LIKE TURKEY ON THE COB.”
Brethren, for many people, Thanksgiving is merely T-time, that is, Turkey-time!
ILL.- A couple of years ago a woman called the Butterball Turkey Talk-line (yes, they really have one!) with a minor emergency. Her little Chihuahua dog jumped into the bird’s cavity (you know, where the stuffing goes) and he couldn’t get out!
The woman tried pulling on the dog and then shaking the bird upside down, but nothing worked, that is, until the Talk-line suggested carefully cutting the opening a bit wider. It worked, and Fido was freed! What a dilemma!
Brethren, turkey is good on Thanksgiving, BUT BEING THANKFUL IS BETTER! Being a thankful person 365 days a year is better than having turkey any time!
I Thess. 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Many people want to know what God’s will is for their life. Well, His will is that we become thankful people!
ILL.- Someone said, “An ingrate is neither ‘in’ nor ‘great.’” Amen to that! An ungrateful person is certainly not a “great” person in God’s eyes.
ILL.- Someone else said, “Giving thanks is a course from which we never graduate.”
ILL.- Another person said, “If you have nothing to be thankful for, make up your mind that there is something wrong with you.”
No matter how little we have, we still have something for which to be thankful.
ILL- A certain business man said, “People are ingrates. It took me 61 years to find out. I have 175 employees, men and women. At Thanksgiving, I sent them 175 choice turkeys. Only four people thanked me. Two thanked me by sending a note and two verbally said, ‘thank you’ when they happened to meet me in the hallway. Because of their thanklessness, I’ve decided never to go out of my way to be nice again.”
I can understand something of how that man felt. If you just keep on dishing out and dishing out to people and you never hear a “thank you” or “God bless you for sharing” or whatever, then you would be inclined to stop dishing out good stuff!
BRETHREN, HOW DO YOU THINK GOD FEELS ABOUT US? What if He never heard a “thank you” from us? In any form or at any time? Do you suppose He might stop dishing out His good stuff? It’s possible.
For granted or gratitude? Are we taking our blessings from God for granted? Or do we express gratitude to God for His blessings?
PROP.- In this message I want us to think about these two thoughts.
1- Blessings - taken for granted. OR
2- Blessings - taken with gratitude.
I. BLESSINGS - TAKEN FOR GRANTED
Luke 17:11-19 Here we have the story of the 10 lepers who were cleansed or healed by Jesus but only one returned to give thanks.
What was wrong with the nine? Why didn’t they return and give thanks to the Lord? Several reasons have been suggested.
- Perhaps they didn’t notice they were cleansed. The one leper “saw” that he was healed. HOW COULD THEY NOT KNOW THEY WERE HEALED? Leprosy is such a terrible disease that surely they knew they were healed?!
Are you blind to your blessings? Are you blind to your healing and forgiveness? I don’t know how anyone could be.
- Perhaps they didn’t attribute their cleansing to Jesus.
Occasionally, someone will say, “Nobody gave me anything.” But we all know that’s not true. “Every good and perfect gift comes from the father...” James 1:17
I Cor. 4:7 “Who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”
Everything good that we have comes from God! We may have worked and made the money to buy something, but essentially, it came from God! God gave us life, breath, health, the ability to work, the job, the money from the job, and whatever it is that we purchase with that money.
IT ALL COMES FROM GOD! And our cleansing and forgiveness definitely comes from Him! We don’t/can’t cleanse ourselves. Cleansing from the filth of sin is only possible through the blood of the Lamb!