Summary: What giving thanks does for me.
A. INTRODUCTION: LUKE 17:11-19
1. “Gratitude is the least remembered of all virtues, and is the acid test of character.”
2. A grateful heart of thanksgiving opens many different doors.
a. Service, Dr. Clate Risley.
3. Thanksgiving is a relative response. Some are greatly grateful for little things. Some are only slightly grateful for big things.
B. GOOD THINGS ABOUT THE TEN LEPERS
“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well’” (Luke 17:11-19).
Good Things About The Ten Lepers
1. They knew their place. “They stood afar off” (v. 12). Unclean, unclean.
2. They didn’t over-ask. “Have mercy” (v. 13).
3. They respected Jesus, calling Him Master.
4. They obeyed Jesus by immediately heading to a priest (v. 14).
5. They had faith because they understood the healing process (Lev. 13:1-59).
C. THREE QUESTIONS REVEAL GOD’S ATTITUDE TO GIVING THANKS
1. Question of accountability. “Were there not ten cleansed?” (v. 17). God wants all His children to return and give thanks.
a. God counts attendance every Sunday. The basis of attendance campaigns.
b. There is an anti-accountability among postmoderns.
c. God is concerned when we don’t show up.
What Missing Worship Says
? We are not serious about our relationship to God.
? It is the first step of backsliding.
? We need to “warm” up our love to God.
? We are not thankful for what God has given us.
? We may not be saved.
2. Question of concern. “Where are the nine?” (v. 17).
a. God needs us to show up. “The father is seeking worshipers” (John 4:24, ELT).
b. The thing God wants from us is worship.
c. You are missed by God when you don’t show up.
d. What happens when we displease God?
How Does Giving Thanks Heal Us?
? Worries diminish
? Complaining disappears
? Peace is invited into our hearts
? Complaints, anger, and criticism go away
? We’re on our way to happiness
3. Question of judgment. “Why is this foreigner the only one who came back to give thanks?” (v. 18).
Why Is An Ungrateful Heart A Problem?
? Is our salvation real, if we’re not thankful?
? Are we self reliant and self-centered?
? Have we not learned a basic Christian discipline?
? Are we spiritually blinded?
? Are we attending a carnal church that is not an example of thankfulness?
a. Jesus points out a character problem among the nine.
“Character is habitually doing the right thing in the right way.” –Erin Towns
b. What happens to us when we worship or magnify God? _____________________________
What Giving Thanks Does To Me
? It verifies God has saved me.
? Reminds me how much I need to grow.
? Keeps me separate from sin, i.e., pure.
? Others will open doors to me.
? Develops spiritual habits/discipline.
? Gets rid of problems in my life.
? Causes me to grow spiritually.
? Takes away spiritual blindness.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
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Dr. Towns’ email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com.