Summary: The secret of thankful living is found in a grateful heart.
The Secrets of Thanks Living
November 21, 2004
Is anyone here familiar with the writings of Rudyard Kipling? He is best known for writing Riki Tiki Tavi and the Jungle Book. At one time Kipling was one of the most popular writers in the world. In fact, his writings were so popular that he was getting ten shillings per word. If you translate into our money and our time that would be well over $100 a word.
There was a group of college students who heard about Kipling’s earning per word and for some reason they were put off by it. So as a joke they gathered ten shillings and sent it to Kipling. Sarcastically, they stated that they knew how much he earned per word and asked for his best word. Kipling politely answered their request with just one word: thanks.
That important word is seldom heard in our society. Why is that? I believe that we are so blessed here in the United States that we take most of our blessings for granted. There almost seems to be an attitude that those blessings are merely rights that we have or that everyone owes us something. It is a sad reality that we live in a thankless society. People forget the common courtesy of thanking those who bless them.
How often do the people who you let into traffic wave “thanks”?
How often do the simple things like holding doors go without even a word of thanks?
How often do you feel like you are being taken for granted?
There are times when we expect everything and are thankful for nothing. I wonder if we really closely examine our lives are we genuinely thankful for all of the blessings that Jesus has bestowed to our lives. Have the blessings of God changed the character of our lives enough that we have become thankful people?
How has the reality of God’s grace changed your life? Are you living out a life of thankfulness to Christ? How often do you take the blessings of Christ for granted?
This morning I want to look at ten lives that were changed by Christ and the issue of gratitude. Open your bibles with me to the book of Luke chapter 17, verse 11.
I. The Depth of brokenness (11-13)
The backdrop for this passage is set in verse 11 because Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem. We read right over it and never give it a second thought. I firmly believe that the event with the lepers and the trip to Jerusalem are connected. Why was Jesus going to Jerusalem? Jesus was headed for the cross and I believe this lesson in thankfulness must start there.
Jesus was going to Jerusalem to heal the brokenness of humanity caused by sin. He was going to the cross so we might become whole. It was no accident that Jesus chooses to stop here. It was not by chance that Jesus heals these ten men. It is a vivid illustration of what He was about to accomplish.
The truth of life is this: Every human being has some form of personal need
These 10 men who meet Jesus that day have lost the ability to truly live.
Without a doubt leprosy would have been the most dreaded and feared disease in the days of Jesus and with good reason. There were only two kinds of people with leprosy; the dead and the dying.
Leprosy was a disease that attacked both the skin and the nervous system at the same time. Literally, the flesh of those with leprosy would rot away, starting with the skin, causing deep sores. This in turn would be made worse by the effects on the nerves. Those with leprosy would experience numbness and feel no pain. At first glance, this would seem like a benefit but it only made matters worse. The person would no longer feel it when they hurt themselves. Every cut, wound, burn and injury would never be felt and thus give way to massive infections. Leprosy was a death sentence.
Imagine the depth of the brokenness of these ten men
Never again would you ever be able to give you children or grandchildren a hug
Never again would you be able to sleep in your own home
Never again would you be able to shake hands with your friends
Never again would you be able to touch your wife
Never again would you be able to hold a job of any kind Never again would you be able to attend worship services Never again would you be welcome in anyone’s home
You have felt the sting of brokenness:
· The day the doctor told you the words I have some bad news
· The day when your spouse walked out the door and out of your life