Thursday, November 22, 2001


November 22, 2001
Luke 17:11-19
Are You the One?

INTRODUCTION:  Do you want to get rich quick?  Then count your blessings!  There were ten who were healed of the worst possible disease of leprosy. The ten came to Jesus and begged for mercy. All ten obeyed when Jesus told them to go to the priest to show they were clean and cured. But only one came back to thank Jesus. Here are some of the most scathing and tragic words Jesus ever uttered, "Were not ten cleansed?" Where are the nine?"  The grateful one was a Samaritan, a half-breed despised by the Jews. It is still the ratio of grateful people, one out of ten? Are you the one?

How you can be the one who is grateful…

1.   Recognize your blessings - v. 15 When he saw that he was healed. A miracle had taken place. Once the man was ill. Now he was whole. Once he had a death sentence. Now he had new life given to him. Such miracles take place each and every day.  The question for you and me to ponder is this, do we recognize these miracles?  It isn’t fortune, or fate, or accident. Our times are in His hands. Count you blessings one by one. Recognize that the Lord has truly blessed you. Look around at all of the countless blessings and gifts that the Lord has given to you. We truly are a blessed people. Thanksgiving causes us to stop and take inventory of the blessings given to us from God.

2.   Return to thank Jesus -vv. 15,16 Turned back…giving him thanks. Only one man returned. His actions will always be remembered. He simply stopped and went back from where he had gone. He returned back to the Lord for He remembered from where he had come.  Again, this is such an illustration for us to follow. When we recognize the blessings, which the Lord has given to us what is our response. Do we hoard it all for ourselves?

      Do we save and keep it all or do we return a portion back to God?  Thanksgiving is a time for us to stop in the midst of our busy lives and to be genuinely grateful. Is this not why you have come here today. There are countless other things you could be doing. But you have done that one thing needful. You have returned back to the Lord to give Him thanks and praise.

3.   Realize your unworthiness - v. 16 "He fell on his face at Jesus' feet” This man knew of his condition. He knew that he was unworthy to receive any of the gifts and blessings, which the Lord had showered down upon Him. That is why he fell at Jesus’ feet. He returned to the Lord in humility. What is our attitude before God?  Is it one of indifference or is it one of humble obedience and gratitude as the Lord has had mercy upon us.  The proper position is this one man on his knees. He humbled Himself before the Lord for he realized that He had come into presence of the Lord.

CONCLUSION:  Are you the one?  With a grateful heart you most certainly are. On this day of National Thanksgiving may we render to the Lord our thanks and praise for His mercy upon us in spite of our sins and shortcomings, for His mercy, and for the miracles, which He places before us each and every day.  Life is a gift from God, may yours count as a gift back to God. A Blessed Thanksgiving. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Thanksgiving Eve

Thanksgiving Eve
November 21, 2001

  Psalm 138
A Song of Thanks

"Trusting God even when things go wrong!"  

INTRODUCTION:  “Lord God, You keep the Proud at a distance and look upon the lowly with favor. Stretch our Your hand to us in our suffering, perfect in us the work of Your love, and bring us to life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen 

The following Psalm, Psalm 138 was recorded as a song of thanks, seemingly on the occasion of some notable answer to prayer.  Life was for David a very difficult and stormy road. There were twists and turns along life’s highway at every turn. Yet through it all, David never gave up on God and His amazing forgiveness and grace.  It’s one thing to thank God when all is well, it is quite another of trusting and thanking God when things seem to be unpleasant. In our text for this evening, David encourages us to trust in God, even when things are going wrong!

I.    Gladness (138:1-2) I will give thee thanks with my whole heart: Before the gods will I sing praises unto thee.  I will worship toward thy holy temple, And give thanks unto thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

A)    David’s Inner Compulsion to Worship the Lord (138:1)

1.      Its Totality (138:1a) I will give thee thanks with my whole heart:

2.      Its Testimony (138:1b) Before the gods will I sing praises unto thee.

B)     David’s Inspired Comprehension of Worship (138:2)

1.      The Temple That Was So Solidly Real To Him (138:2a).  I will worship toward thy holy temple

2.      The Topic That Was So Sweetly Refreshing To Him (138:2b),  And give thanks unto thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth:

II.    The Truth That Was So Suddenly Revealing To Him (138:2c) For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

III.   Grace (138:3) In the day that I called thou answered me, Thou didst encourage me with strength in my soul

IV.   Glory (138:4-5) All the kings of the earth shall give thee thanks, O Lord, For they have heard the words of thy mouth.   Yea, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord; For great is the glory of the Lord.

V.    Government (138:6-7) For though the Lord is high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly; But the haughty he knoweth from afar.  Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me; Thou wilt stretch forth thy hand against the wrath of mine enemies, And thy right hand will save me.

A)    An Amazing Fact (138:6-7)

B)     An Abundant Faith (138:7)

1.      God Will Revive Him (138:7a) Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me;

            2.   God Will Rescue Him (138:7b) Thou wilt stretch forth thy hand against the wrath of mine enemies, And thy right hand will save me

VI.   Growth (138:8) The Lord will perfect that which concerned me: Thy loving kindness, O Lord, endures for ever; Forsake not the works of thine own hands.

CONCLUSION: God has answered prayer. Once again He has shown to us His faithful love to us through His Son Jesus Christ. He is great and high; yet He cares for insignificant men and women, people like you and like me.  The psalmist David has a continuing story to tell of God’s protective care for people. Know this night that He truly cares for you, even when things are not always pleasant, when all is not right, He still holds you in the palm of His hand.  A Blessed Thanksgiving, Amen.