Today we are talking about a thankful heart for what God has done for us. When we talk about thankfulness, it is all about perspective. I know the following illustration oversimplifies the point but I laugh every time I think of the differences between cats and dogs and how it relates to us:
EXCERPTS FROM A DOG’S DIARY – DAY #180
8:00 am – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
9:30 am – OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!
9:40 am – OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE!
10:30 am – OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE!
11:30 am – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
12:00 noon – OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!
1:00 pm – OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE!
4:00 pm – OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE!
5:00 PM – OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE!
5:30 PM – OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE!
EXCERPTS FROM A CAT’S DIARY
DAY 752 – My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal.
DAY 774 – I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The Dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The Bird on the other hand has got to be an informant. He has mastered their frightful tongue (something akin to mole speak) and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the hanging metal room, he is safe. But I can wait, it’s only a matter of time.
1) THE STORY OF THE TEN LEPERS
- Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
2) THE TRUTH ABOUT LEPROSY
- Today leprosy is called Hansen’s Disease, after the Norwegian doctor who in 1873 discovered the bacterium that causes the disease. There are actually several kinds of leprosy, and we know today that the Bible words translated “leprosy” actually cover a broad range of skin diseases, which is why some modern translations use a phrase such as “eruptive skin disease.” The worst kind of leprosy follows this general pattern:
- —First, skin is discolored. It occurs on the brow, nose, ear, cheek or chin.
- —Second, the patch turns white or pink and begins to spread in all directions.
- —Third, the disease spreads to various internal organs. The eyebrows may disappear and spongy tumors appear on the body.
- —Fourth, tissue begins to disintegrate causing hands and feet to deform.
- —Fifth, the nerve endings of the body are destroyed. This is the most critical and dangerous stage of leprosy because it means that the afflicted person loses the ability to feel pain. Thus a rat might chew off a finger at night and the person would never feel it. Or they might touch a flame and feel no pain.
- It was feared by the ancients because it produced such terrible results, because it was contagious, and because it could not be cured by man.
3) THE LEPERS CAME TO JESUS
- Luke 17:13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
- These lepers were, in all, a good bunch. They were obeying the laws:
- They stayed out of the city and did not approach Jesus or his followers.
- They believed in Jesus’ ability to heal.
4) THE LEPERS WERE SENT TO THE PRIEST
- Luke 17: And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
- They were healed as they went. Not before. Not after. But in the act of going they were healed. Why? Because it was the act of going that was the act of faith.
- When Jesus said, “Go show the priest” he was really saying, “Act as if you are already healed.”
5) ONE LEPER RETURNED TO THANK JESUS
- Luke 17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
- —All had leprosy.
- —All were outcasts from society.
- —All were determined to do something about it.
- —All had heard about Jesus and believed he could help them.
- —All appealed to him.
- —All obeyed his word.
- —All were healed.
- —ONLY ONE RETURNED.
6) THE MULTIPLIED BLESSING
- Luke 17:18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
- Ten men were healed that day, but only one came back to give thanks. Are you living with the nine or with the one? Far too many of us take our blessings for granted and groan about duties. Does that sound like you? It doesn’t have to be that way.
- PRAISE IS A CHOICE. A thankful heart is a choice you make. No one is forced into bitterness. You choose the way you live. The one who returned to give thanks chose not to forget what Jesus had done for him. THE SECRET OF A THANKFUL HEART IS A CONSCIOUS CHOICE not to forget what God has done for you.
- WE CHOOSE to praise
- WE CHOOSE to give
- WE CHOOSE to sing
- WE CHOOSE to tell
- WE CHOOSE to serve
- WE CHOOSE to love
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
- 1 Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
- Psalm 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
- Psalm 26:8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
- Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
- Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
- Psalm 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.