Do you suppose a kind “thank you!” is apropos? In 2021 society is more filled with finding fault in everything and every word that is spoken. Have you seen how many people are living today? There is no room for them to say thank you for anything, because they are filled with all manner of malicious behavior.
The Bible refers to them as being unthankful (2 Timothy 3:1-7; Romans 1:21-32). This is what a heart devoid of thanks is like. Have you seen how our leaders are behaving today? We’ve been told they want a united people, and yet some out of their same mouths say we must destroy free speech and burn down society before things can change. Did Jesus handle things that way when he showed up?
Some will try to correct this sermon and say “just a moment Pastor Todd, didn’t Jesus go in the temple with violence to make a point?” When I hear that, I realize their relationship with Jesus is miniscule and possibly empty. Why do I say that? Because if they really understood the cause behind why Jesus cleansed the temple, and what righteous indignation means, they would rethink their assumptions.
Merchants and money changers had set up their booths in the Court of the Gentiles in the Temple, crowding out the Gentiles who had come from all over the civilized world to worship God. Their commercialism in God’s house frustrated people’s attempts at worship. Also, they might want to read these passages of scripture (Luke 9:54-56; Jeremiah 29:11).
Did you know Jesus loves those who are unthankful? (Luke 6:35,36). Before we close for the day, let’s look at a few examples of those who were unappreciative from kind acts done towards them. In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus left Galilee for the last time. He passed through Samaria and met ten men who had leprosy. Because leprosy was contagious, people who had leprosy were required to stay away from other people and to announce their presence if they had to come near.
In our time Covid has caused some unloving interactions among people. These men came to Jesus and asked for mercy. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest. If people thought their leprosy had gone away, they were supposed to present themselves to a priest, who could declare them clean (Leviticus 14). Jesus sent the ten men with leprosy to the priest before they were healed, and they went!
They responded in faith, and Jesus healed them on the way. Notice there was obedience from the lepers. In the past there may have been times when they shrugged off going to see the priest, even if their leprosy was in remission. So, because of their obedience, Jesus healed them on the way. The timing of God is always perfect. He could have healed them as they stood in front of him. But God wants our faith to be so strong that even if Jesus is not physically there, we can trust that he will still heal us.
Remember the doubting, Thomas? Remember the words Jesus expressed to him? (John 20:27-29). Jesus told him to be not faithless. He also said, “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” The lepers had believed Jesus just on his word. However, there was still things left to be done. When we were children and someone did something really nice for us, we were reminded by our parents to say “thank you!”
There were 10 men who got what they wanted from Jesus. However, nine of them like had the attitude of “thanks, but no thanks, don’t call us we’ll call you!” Only one returned to thank him. It is possible to receive God’s great gifts with an ungrateful spirit. Nine of the ten men did so. Only the thankful man, however, allowed his gratitude to further develop his faith.
This man also let everyone know that he was not ashamed of what Jesus did for him. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God” (Luke 17:15 KJV). The word loud in the Greek text (megas) means to exceedingly great, high loud, mighty. Later, Paul an Apostle and disciple of Jesus stated that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16,17).
The one leper (no longer a leper) went another step further and thanked Jesus for the healing. This was not only physically healed, but his faith would cause spiritual healing. This man was headed towards wholeness. Sometimes individuals can be callous in excepting things from others.
Today, in 2021, many people feel that they are entitled to have anything they want. They are unthankful and demand things by force. These are people that die in that state of mind, would demand that Jesus let them enter heaven. Lastly, this leper was also a Samaritan. He was a member of a race of people despised by the Jews as idolatrous half-breeds.
A deep hatred existed between Jews and Samaritans. The Jews saw themselves as pure descendants of Abraham, while the Samaritans were a mixed race produced when Jews from the northern kingdom had intermarried with other peoples after Israel’s exile. Remember beloved, God offers love and grace to everyone.
[Through our gratitude, we grow in our understanding of God’s grace and see how much he loves us. God does not demand that we thank him, but he is pleased when we do so. And he uses our responsiveness to teach us more about himself.]
Many people in our nation today are being deceived and made to feel guilty about being born a certain color. People should reject all forms of racism based on the color of one’s skin. God is not a respecter of persons. And the followers of Jesus are taught through the Holy Spirit to be the same as Jesus was. Jesus is completely colorblind.
When you die, your entrance or decline to enter heaven will have absolutely nothing to do with skin color. Jesus had to rebuke two of his disciples over this destructive way of thinking. Read (Luke 9:51-56) to grasp a greater understanding. This is important to understand because Jesus healed the leper who was a Samaritan. There was no preconceived prejudice. He simply healed the man, because he cared and loved him. Shouldn’t we do the same to one another? Shouldn’t we look to be thankful and grateful?
The Lord always has his hands out to give and bless us with his goodness (Luke 11:9-13; 12:27-32). We must always remember that God is pleased when our attitude is to appreciate what he does for us. Thanksgiving in the Bible means to respond to God’s goodness and grace with gratitude. The word for giving thanks in the Old Testament means to raise hands to God in gratitude.
I mentioned earlier that there were others who were not thankful. Most of those that came out of Egypt by God’s gracious hand were never thankful, but certainly complained a lot. There was also a Pharisee Jesus spoke about in a parable to distinguish the difference between self-righteousness and those who are humble (Luke 18:9-14). It’s difficult to be thankful when you are self-absorbed and filled with pride.
🗣Last words: With Covid still fresh on everyone’s mind, and people maneuvering around their new-normal routines, let us remember those who are alone this Thanksgiving. People are more isolated than ever before. As families thin out their home guest, trust God and pray that he will prompt you to give a Thanksgiving dinner to someone who may be alone or separated due to Covid.
God can and will protect those who are motivated by love to help someone who is alone this year. May we continue to pray for all the grandparents out there. They need our love on a daily basis. Peter understood that kind of love in his relationship with Jesus. Even in his conversation about Jesus not washing his feet, he responded emphatically “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!” (John 13:6-9).
Sometimes it took Peter a little while to grasp some things, but after understanding more deeply, he wanted to be full of whatever Jesus offered to him. Therefore it’s not hard to understand that this same Peter would be filled by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and later see 3,000 souls added to the church. God loves to fill us!
The next time someone says “your full of it!”, you can smile and say “thank you, I sure am!” Many will fill up on their favorite Thanksgiving meal. You can also feed on Christ (calorie free!) and then go and live your life, and know that it is Christ in you that lives your life, that helps the poor, that tells the truth, that fights the battle, and that wins the crown.
DON’T BE THANK-LESS, BE THANK-FULL, LET PEOPLE SEE YOUR FULL OF IT!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
🛐 Here’s a prayer you can pray to make your heart full of thankfulness. “Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that you sent your son, so I can have a living relationship with you. You initiated this relationship by what your son endeavored to accomplish, paying the price for my sins. You know the times I have been ungrateful, held ill thoughts toward you and others. You know the times I complained and grumbled about life and its circumstances, but you love me regardless even when I’m ungrateful.
Today, Lord, even with the pandemic on my mind, I am thankful Lord for you keeping me in your peace and supplying all my needs. You do own the cattle on the hills. You have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor begging for bread. I want to thank you for the gift of life, for the breath that sustains life, for the food of this earth that nurtures life, and for the love of family and friends without which there would be little happiness in life. For this, I am eternally grateful, in Jesus name, amen.”
***Please Note: Worship Video Drop-down page “You are Holy” & ” No other name” have been restored. Ready for Worship!
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
Pastor Todd Boxley
Worship Center Ministry