Summary: To remind the people the importance of thanking the Lord for all things.
Title: Taking God for Granted
Theme: To remind the people the importance of thanking the Lord for all things.
Text: Luke 17:11-19
Luke 17:11. And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up [their] voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw [them], he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on [his] face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where [are] the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
As I was reading the newspaper the other day I came across a letter that had been written to dear Abby. It was from a young man named Paul. It reads like this, "Dear Abby: When I was in law school, I shared an apartment with three other graduate students who like me, held part-time jobs and has little time, money, cooking ability or interest in preparing meals. Each of us got his own breakfast and we took turns preparing dinner-which usually consisted of a canned vegetable, hamburger meat, baked potato or the like-and was barely edible. But no matter how poor the meal was , my roommate "Joe" invariably said, "That was a mighty find dinner!"
One evening, when the meal I had prepared was even worse than usual and Joe had nevertheless complimented me, I asked, "Joe, you know that food was hardly fit for human consumption. Why do you always say it’s good?"
"I come from a family of 11 children," Joe answered. "My mother would spend all afternoon in the kitchen preparing the evening meal. Then one night when she called us to the table, there was only a plate at each place with a pile of hay on it. My father looked at it and asked her, ’Jessie, what is this hay doing on our plates?’ Mother said, ’Oh you noticed! This is the first time any of you have ever given any indication that you know what was on your plate!’
I vowed then and there," Joe added, " that I would always express my appreciation to the person who had prepared my meal."
What a great illustration about thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a day that is given to give thanks for the things that God has done. But we have a tendency to take God for granted. We don’t always thank him for what we have or what he has done. In one sense we have come to expect God to do something for us. When he does we are like the other nine lepers and never give him thanks.
Luke makes a note here. The one that returned to praise Jesus for his healing was not only a leper but he was a Samaritan. As most of you know the Samaritan were not of very good standings with the Jews. In reality they were hated. They even had, as we read when Jesus was talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, their own place of worship. What makes this statement so important is that the one who was suppose to be the least religious or holy was the one who had the most gratitude.
This is so true of the Christian church. So many times we take things of God for granted. Things like salvation. God’s convictions. God’s calling. God’s grace and mercy. Even the things that God gives us. We walk outside and see the mark of God all over this earth and we take it for granted that it is ours. Oh that we would just take a few moments to give God the thanks and praise that He deserves.
And you notice it takes a new Christian to remind us of how God truly is and how much more we should praise him.
I want you to notice something else about this passage. Look at verse 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. The nine missed something by not coming back to thank the Lord. See all the lepers experienced the physical blessing of the Lord. They all were cleansed and healed. But not all received the spiritual blessings of the Lord. The nine missed out on salvation. In this world God’s blessing fall on the just and the unjust.