Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day
27 November 2014
Luke 17:1-19
Give Thanks in all Things

In the celebration of Thanksgiving we recall the story of the Pilgrims…after a harsh winter they returned thanks for the blessings they had received. They had survived. For that gift – the gift of life - they were thankful.  They remembered both the gifts they received and the Giver. True gratitude always does. The story of ten lepers cleansed draws this lesson home in a tangible way.


1         Counts his blessings

A.      What a blessing to be cured of leprosy.

1.       Release from a death sentence; leprosy was at the time incurable.

2.       Chance to return to society, to family and friends.

3.       No wonder the one came back to give thanks. Jesus had given him his life back. He was restored.

B.      But only one came back; ingratitude is quick to forget.

1.       The nine, they moved on with their lives - forgetting the one who had healed them. Their ingratitude was evident.

2.       Too many today forget; they spend their time complaining or getting if not heart attacks possibly ulcers trying to get more. Remember, {from the Old Testament}

a.       King Ahab; who wanted the vineyard of Naboth for a vegetable garden. He would stop at nothing to get it - even if it meant shedding innocent blood.

b.      The children of Israel in the wilderness; they grumbled even when the Lord provided for them. They complained about the manna, even though for 40 years not even their clothing wore out!

c.       The man who complained that he had no shoes until he saw a cripple who had no feet.

Application: Count your blessings; both material and spiritual. What an incentive to live with a grateful heart.

  1. Remember the Giver.

A.      This one did. How could he forget!

1.       There is no physician like Jesus.

2.       He was a man of faith. A Samaritan at that!

B.      Nine forgot.

1.       They were quick to pray and quick to forget.

2.       People are like that even today.

3.       There are no atheists in foxholes; but men still forgets God as soon as the crisis is over and doom is averted.

4.       Even on the human level it is easy to forget our most cherished blessings - children and parents, husbands and wives.

5.       Much more…we think we have a dog in this fight.

a.       The Protestant ethic; hard work brings results. Just try harder.

b.      The American ideal; the self made man – summed up in the song “I did it my way!”

c.       And still God is forgotten.

C.      But faith remembers that God is the Giver God.

1.       He supplies our physical needs.

2.       Behind the loaf is the field of grain; behind the field is God.

3.       Shakespeare: “If we have any ill escaped or good attained, still Heaven chalked the course that brought us thither.”  In short, God alone supplies all our needs – He is the one who orders our days.

D.      God supplies our spiritual needs.

1.       God loves us, the unlovely – when we were considered dead in our trespasses and sins.

2.       God gave His Son as a sacrifice on the cruel cross of Calvary.

3.       Christ gave Himself an offering for sin and sinners – that great exchange – our sin for His righteousness.

4.       For Jesus’ sake God gives life and salvation – freely as a gift.

5.       How rich God has made us all – we are a blessed people in ways we cannot count.

 Remember the Giver. Give thanks at meals, at the end of the day, in success and failure, too. And show how grateful you are by giving cups of water in His name. 

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