Summary: Fours reasons to be thankful as illustrated by the ten lepers who were cleansed.
Why Should I Be Thankful?
Illustration: Things To Be Thankful For
* for automatic dishwashers. They make it possible to get out of the kitchen before the family comes in for their after-dinner snacks.
* for husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house. They usually make them big enough to call in professionals.
* for the bathtub -- the one place the family allows Mom some time to herself.
* for children who put away their things and clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
* for gardening. It’s a relief to deal with dirt outside the house for a change.
* for teenagers. They give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
* for smoke alarms. They let you know when the turkey’s done.
I. I SHOULD BE THANKFUL BECAUSE JESUS SAVES SINNERS. Luke 17:12
A. I Didn’t Seek Him; He Sought Me. Romans 3:10-18
Illustration: Pursued by the Atoning Love
One evening a woman was driving home when she noticed a huge truck behind her that was driving uncomfortably close. She stepped on the gas to gain some distance from the truck, but when she sped up the truck did too. The faster she drove, the faster drove the truck.
Now scared, she exited the freeway. But the truck stayed with her. The woman then turned up a main street, hoping to lose her pursuer in traffic. But the truck ran a red light and continued the chase.
Reaching the point of panic, the woman whipped her car into a service station and bolted out of her auto screaming for help. The truck driver sprang from his truck and ran toward her car. Yanking the back door open, the driver pulled out a man hidden in the backseat.
The woman was running from the wrong person. From his high vantage point, the truck driver had spotted a would-be rapist in the woman’s car. The chase was not his effort to harm her but to save her even at the cost of his own safety.
Likewise, many people run from God’s provision of atonement on the cross, fearing what He might do to them. But His plans are for good not evil--to rescue us from the hidden sins that endanger our lives. (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 37.)
1. I was dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1,4-7
3. My mind was blinded to the gospel by the “god of this world.” 2 Corinthians 4:4
1. He chose me before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4
II. I SHOULD BE THANKFUL BECAUSE GOD EXTENDS MERCY. Luke 17:13-14
A. In His Love And Kindness He Does Not Deal With Me According To Justice. Titus 3:3-7
Illustration: Billy Graham’s Speeding Ticket
When Billy Graham was driving through a small southern town, he was stopped by a policeman and charged with speeding. Graham admitted his quilt, but was told by the officer that he would have to appear in court.
The judge asked, "Guilty, or not guilty?"
When Graham pleaded guilty, the judge replied, "That’ll be ten dollars -- a dollar for every mile you went over the limit."
Suddenly the judge recognized the famous minister. "You have violated the law," he said. "The fine must be paid -- but I am going to pay it for you." He took a ten-dollar bill from his own wallet, attached it to the ticket, and then took Graham out and bought him a steak dinner!
"That," said Billy Graham, "is how God treats repentant sinners!" (Progress Magazine, December 14, 1992)
1. He loved me in my foolishness.
2. He saved me by His mercy.
3. He renewed me with His Spirit.
4. He adopted me as His son.
B. In His Abundant Mercy He Does Not Destroy Me Because Of My Sin. Psalms 103:8-14
1. He is slow to anger, not dealing with me according to my sins.
2. In His mercy He removes my transgressions from me.
3. He pities me as a father pities his child, and remembers that I am dust.
III. I SHOULD BE THANKFUL BECAUSE GRATITUDE HONORS THE LORD. Luke 17:15-16
Illustration: The Old Man and the Gulls
It is gratitude that prompted an old man to visit an old broken pier on the eastern seacoast of Florida. Every Friday night, until his death in 1973, he would return, walking slowly and slightly stooped with a large bucket of shrimp. The sea gulls would flock to this old man, and he would feed them from his bucket. Many years before, in October, 1942, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was on a mission in a B-17 to deliver an important message to General Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea. But there was an unexpected detour which would hurl Captain Eddie into the most harrowing adventure of his life. Somewhere over the South Pacific the Flying Fortress became lost beyond the reach of radio. Fuel ran dangerously low, so the men ditched their plane in the ocean... For nearly a month Captian Eddie and his companions would fight the water, and the weather, and the scorching sun. They spent many sleepless nights recoiling as giant sharks rammed their rafts. The largest raft was nine by five. The biggest shark...ten feet long. But of all their enemies at sea, one proved most formidable: starvation. Eight days out, their rations were long gone or destroyed by the salt water. It would take a miracle to sustain them. And a miracle occurred.