Sermons

Gratitude

Created by SermonCentral on Oct 29, 2023
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Help my congregation show gratitude

Introduction

Good morning, dear family in Christ. As we gather here today, we are united in our shared faith and love for our Lord Jesus Christ. We are here to worship, to learn, and to grow in our spiritual journey. Today, we are going to focus on a theme that is as old as the Bible itself, yet as fresh as the morning dew. It's a theme that is woven into the very fabric of our Christian faith, and yet, it's something we often overlook in our daily lives. That theme, dear brothers and sisters, is gratitude.

Gratitude is not just about saying 'thank you' when someone holds the door for us or gives us a gift. It's not just about sending a thank you note after a dinner party. No, gratitude is much more than that. It's an attitude, a mindset, a way of life. It's about recognizing the blessings we have received from God and acknowledging His goodness in our lives. It's about seeing the beauty in every moment, the miracle in every breath, the grace in every trial. It's about living with a heart full of thanksgiving, a heart that is always ready to praise God for His unfailing love and mercy.

As we embark on this journey of gratitude, let us turn to the Word of God for guidance and inspiration. Our scripture reading for today comes from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 17, verses 11 to 19. This passage tells the story of ten lepers who were healed by Jesus, but only one of them returned to thank Him. This story is a powerful reminder of the importance of gratitude and the blessings that come with it.

Let us read together from Luke 17:11-19 (NIV):

"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!' When he saw them, he said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed. 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. Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?' Then he said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'"

Before we continue, let us bow our heads in prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for this beautiful day and for the opportunity to gather together in Your name. We thank You for Your Word, which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. We ask that You open our hearts and minds today as we study Your Word and learn about gratitude. Help us to see the blessings in our lives and to always give thanks for Your goodness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Now, imagine for a moment that you are a gardener, and your heart is the garden. Each day, you have the choice to plant seeds of gratitude or seeds of discontent. You can water the seeds of thankfulness and watch them grow into beautiful flowers of joy and peace, or you can neglect them and let the weeds of bitterness and resentment take over. The choice is yours. But remember, the seeds you plant today will determine the harvest you reap tomorrow.

So, my dear brothers and sisters, let us choose to plant seeds of gratitude in our hearts. Let us water them with the Word of God and nurture them with prayer and praise. Let us cultivate a garden of gratitude that will bear fruit for the glory of God. And as we do so, let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

May the Lord bless us and guide us as we learn to live with gratitude. Amen.

Recognizing God's Grace (Luke 17:11-19)

In the heart of the Gospel of Luke, we find a story that's all about gratitude. It's a story that's as relevant today as it was over 2,000 years ago. It's a story about ten men, all suffering from leprosy, a disease that had turned them into outcasts. But it's also a story about Jesus, the one person who didn't shun them, but instead offered them hope and healing.

These ten men, they knew their need. They knew they were sick, and they knew that Jesus was their only chance for a cure. So, they cried out to Him, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" And Jesus, in His infinite compassion, didn't turn them away. He told them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were healed.

But here's where the story takes a turn. Out of the ten who were healed, only one came back to thank Jesus. Only one recognized the grace that had been extended to him. And that's where we find our first lesson in gratitude.

1. Recognize the Grace in Your Life

The first step in showing gratitude is recognizing the grace in your life. It's about acknowledging that every good thing you have, every blessing, every bit of happiness, comes from God. It's not about what you've earned or what you deserve. It's about what God, in His infinite love and mercy, has chosen to give you.

The Greek word for grace is "charis," which means favor, goodwill, or thanks. It's a gift, freely given, with no expectation of anything in return. That's the kind of grace God extends to us every day. And recognizing that grace, acknowledging it, is the first step in showing gratitude.

As the great theologian Karl Barth once said, "Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice an echo. Gratitude follows grace like thunder lightning."

2. Don't Take God's Grace for Granted

The second lesson we can learn from this story is not to take God's grace for granted. Of the ten men who were healed, nine of them went on their way without a second thought. They were so focused on their healing, on the gift they had received, that they forgot about the Giver.

It's easy to do the same thing in our own lives. We get so caught up in the blessings, in the good things we have, that we forget to thank the One who gave them to us. But gratitude isn't just about saying thank you for the gifts. It's about acknowledging the Giver. It's about recognizing that without God, we would have nothing.

3. Make Gratitude a Habit

The final lesson from this story is to make gratitude a habit. The one man who came back to thank Jesus, he made a conscious choice to do so. He didn't let the excitement of his healing distract him from showing gratitude. He made it a priority.

In the same way, we need to make gratitude a habit in our own lives. It's not something that should be reserved for special occasions or times when we receive something we've been wanting. It should be a daily practice, a constant reminder of the grace we've been given.

So, let's learn from the story of the ten lepers. Let's recognize the grace in our lives, let's not take it for granted, and let's make gratitude a habit. Because when we do, we'll find that our lives are filled with a joy and a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Responding with Thankfulness (Luke 17:15-18)

In the heart of the Gospel of Luke, we find a story that resonates with our human experience. It's a story of ten lepers, outcasts, who were healed by Jesus. Yet, only one of them, a Samaritan, returned to give thanks. This man, overwhelmed by the mercy he had received, fell at Jesus' feet, praising God with a loud voice. His response was not a mere reaction, but a deliberate act of gratitude. This story serves as a mirror, reflecting our own attitudes towards gratitude and challenging us to respond with thankfulness.

Firstly, let's look at the act of returning. The Samaritan leper could have continued on his way, rejoicing in his newfound health. But he chose to return. He made a conscious decision to go back to Jesus, the source of his healing. This is a lesson for us. When we experience God's blessings, our first response should be to return to Him, acknowledging that every good thing comes from Him.

Secondly, the Samaritan leper fell at Jesus' feet. This was a posture of humility, an acknowledgment of his dependence on Jesus. It's a reminder for us to remain humble, recognizing our need for God's grace in every aspect of our lives.

Thirdly, the Samaritan leper praised God with a loud voice. His gratitude was not a quiet, private affair. He openly declared his thankfulness, sharing his joy with those around him. This challenges us to express our gratitude openly, not just to God, but also to the people He has placed in our lives.

Now, let's turn our attention to another New Testament passage that echoes the theme of gratitude - the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Mary, sitting at Jesus' feet, listening to His words, chose the better part. She recognized the value of Jesus' presence and expressed her gratitude through her attentive listening.

This story invites us to consider our own responses. Are we, like Mary, attentive to Jesus' presence in our lives? Do we express our gratitude by listening to His words, by spending time in His presence? Or are we, like Martha, too busy with our tasks and responsibilities to notice His presence?

Returning to our original passage, let's consider two more lessons from the Samaritan leper's response.

Firstly, his gratitude was not dependent on his circumstances. Even before he was healed, he called out to Jesus in faith. His gratitude was rooted in his relationship with Jesus, not in his external circumstances. This challenges us to cultivate a heart of gratitude, regardless of our circumstances.

Secondly, the Samaritan leper's gratitude was not a one-off event. His return to Jesus suggests a commitment to a lifestyle of gratitude. It's a reminder for us that gratitude is not just a response to blessings received, but a way of life.

In conclusion, the story of the Samaritan leper invites us to respond with thankfulness, to return to God, to remain humble, to express our gratitude openly, to be attentive to Jesus' presence, to cultivate a heart of gratitude regardless of our circumstances, and to commit to a lifestyle of gratitude. As we reflect on this story, let's ask God to help us show gratitude in our daily lives.

Verse Reference: Psalm 107:1 (NIV)

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

Cultivating a Lifestyle of Gratitude (Luke 17:19)

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it's easy to overlook the importance of expressing gratitude. We often take for granted the blessings that surround us, focusing instead on the challenges we face. Yet, in the heart of the Gospel, we find a compelling call to cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude. This call is beautifully illustrated in the account of Jesus healing ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19.

In this story, we see ten men, all suffering from the same debilitating disease, crying out to Jesus for mercy. Jesus, moved by their plight, heals them all. But here's the catch - only one of them, a Samaritan, returns to thank Jesus. The other nine, presumably Jews, go on their way, rejoicing in their newfound health but failing to acknowledge the source of their healing.

This narrative is not just a historical account; it's a mirror held up to our own lives. How often do we, like the nine lepers, receive blessings from God and fail to express our gratitude? How often do we take His goodness for granted, forgetting to acknowledge Him as the source of all our blessings?

The first point we need to consider is the importance of recognizing God's blessings. The nine lepers who failed to return to Jesus were so caught up in their healing that they forgot to acknowledge the Healer. They were so focused on the gift that they overlooked the Giver. This is a common pitfall that we all need to guard against.

Research by Dr. Robert Emmons, a leading expert on gratitude, shows that recognizing and acknowledging blessings is a key factor in promoting happiness and well-being. His studies reveal that people who regularly express gratitude experience more positive emotions, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

This brings us to the words of A.W. Tozer, who once said, "Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and not be poorer but richer for having made it." This quote beautifully encapsulates the essence of gratitude. It's not about what we have; it's about recognizing and appreciating what we have been given.

The second point we need to ponder is the role of gratitude in our relationship with God. The Samaritan leper, in returning to thank Jesus, demonstrated a deep understanding of this principle. He recognized Jesus not just as a healer, but as the source of his healing. His gratitude was a natural response to this recognition.

In the same way, our gratitude should be a natural response to recognizing God's goodness in our lives. It should not be a forced or obligatory act, but a heartfelt expression of love and appreciation.

Finally, we need to consider the transformative power of gratitude. The Samaritan leper's act of gratitude not only acknowledged Jesus' healing power but also affirmed his faith. Jesus told him, "Your faith has made you well." His gratitude was a testament to his faith, and it was this faith that made him well, not just physically, but spiritually as well.

In the same way, our gratitude can be a testament to our faith. It can affirm our trust in God's goodness and power, and it can transform our lives in profound ways. So, let us strive to cultivate a lifestyle of gratitude, recognizing God's blessings, expressing our thanks, and allowing our gratitude to transform our lives and deepen our faith.

Conclusion

As we draw to a close on this sermon, let's take a moment to reflect on the story of the ten lepers from Luke 17:11-19. This story is a vivid reminder of the importance of gratitude in our lives. It's a lesson that we should not only be thankful for the blessings we receive but also express that gratitude openly and sincerely.

In the story, ten lepers were healed by Jesus, but only one returned to thank Him. This one leper, in his act of gratitude, not only received physical healing but also spiritual healing. His gratitude made him whole. This is the kind of gratitude we should strive for - a gratitude that heals, a gratitude that makes us whole.

As we go about our lives this coming week, let's strive to be more like Jesus. Let's strive to be healers in our own way. And one of the most effective ways we can do this is by expressing our gratitude.

Gratitude has a way of healing not just the receiver but also the giver. When we express our gratitude, we are acknowledging the goodness in our lives. We are acknowledging that we are blessed. And this acknowledgment brings us closer to God.

So, let's make it a point to express our gratitude this week. Let's thank our family for their love and support. Let's thank our friends for their companionship. Let's thank our colleagues for their cooperation. And most importantly, let's thank God for His unending grace.

Dear Heavenly Father, as we conclude this sermon, we want to express our gratitude to You. We thank You for Your love, Your grace, and Your mercy. We thank You for the blessings You have bestowed upon us.

As we go about our lives this coming week, help us to be more like Jesus. Help us to be healers in our own way. Help us to express our gratitude openly and sincerely.

We pray that our gratitude will not just be words, but actions. We pray that our gratitude will not just be for the big things, but also for the small things. We pray that our gratitude will not just be in times of joy, but also in times of sorrow.

We pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all, now and forevermore. As you go out into the world, remember to express your gratitude. Remember to be healers. Remember to be like Jesus. Amen.

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