November 22, 2007
Luke 17:19 “Rise and go your way, you faith has made you well.”
Introduction: Two miracles take place in the healing of the ten lepers. Nine receive physical healing, but one got both physical and spiritual healing. It is the latter that we who are healthy need. Jesus said to the Samaritan that he was healed by his faith. Were not the other nine healed even without faith? Jesus is referring to the spiritual miracle that took place in the foreigner. “Well” comes from the word “save” and “wholeness”. This second miracle made him whole in terms of gratitude - which was the outward sign - of his well-being inside.
Consider the Double Miracle
I. What you are saved from – Ingratitude. This is illustrated by acts of selfishness, taking things for granted and negativism.
A. Selfishness. Sinful humans with their own agendas plans and attitudes crowd out a spirit of thanksgiving. We live in a land of plenty. We live in a time of so many opportunities. We live in an age in which there are countless advantages for us to succeed. Do we consider the needs and concerns of others or do we think and operate only for ourselves?
B. Ingratitude raises its ugly head by taking things for granted. On this day of Thanksgiving we are challenged to contemplate our blessings. This past week when our students at Wyneken assembled for chapel I gave them an assignment. It’s an assignment which each of us should take. Make an assessment of the blessings you have received. Recall those people the Lord has placed in your life – who have become a blessing to you. Then simply say “thank you!” This helps us from taking things for granted.
C. Negativism is also a cause for ingratitude. True we all have challenges in our lives. There are plenty of hurdles placed before us. There are enough voices in our world which simply say “no, you can’t!” What should our attitude be? Thanksgiving is thanks living. If we truly live blessed and thankful lives negativism is eliminated from the equation.
Transition: We are saved from ingratitude. We are saved for gratitude.
II. What you are saved for – gratitude. How do we demonstrate an attitude of gratitude? We do this by counting our blessings, recognizing God as the one who blesses us, and praising Him for His goodness.
A. Counting your blessings – V. 15a “one of them when he saw he was healed, came back.” This one lone leper realized his life had been saved. He saw He had been saved. There had been a change, a huge change in his life. Did he move on? Of course not. He returned to give thanks.
B. Recognizing God as the one who blesses us. Vs. 16 “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan.” This miracle had not happen by chance. It wasn’t luck, or fate, or his good fortune. It was the God and God alone who had healed him. It was God and God alone who had had mercy upon him. It was God and God alone who had intervened in his life. A change had taken in his life and he knew it.
C. Praising God for His goodness – V. 15b “praising God in a loud voice.” With such a change taking place in his life this leper returned to thank the God. He praised the Savior for the blessings he had received. How do we make thanksgiving a way of life? We do more then come to a worship service – in service we praise the name of our Lord. As God has blessed you – be a blessing – to those people in your life.
Conclusion: What you are saved for? We are saved for an attitude of gratitude. How do we demonstrate this attitude of gratitude? We do this by - counting our blessings, recognizing God as the One who blesses us, and praising Him for His goodness. A blessed Thanksgiving in Jesus’ Name.
+Soli Deo Gloria+