Sermon Title: Thanksliving
Sermon Text: Luke 17:11-19
Date: November 19, 2017
Puritan pastor Dr. John Henry Jowett wrote, “Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
Sometimes in our Christian lives we forget all that God has done for us. In turn we then take for granted all of God’s grace in mercy in our lives. So when we do face trials and tribulations in our lives we become grumbly hateful instead of humbly grateful.
There are four levels of living. People in the lowest level constantly complain. These folks are always griping and complaining. Rather than being humbly grateful, they're grumbly hateful.
The second level is just a tad higher. These are not people who are constantly complaining; they just never give thanks for anything. They take things for granted. The third level are those who thank God for the obvious blessings, when things are going good and everything is fine.
But the fourth level, the highest level, are those who give thanks always for all things. This is the attitude that will change your life.
2 Corinthians 4:15 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 9:11 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds
Psalm 107: 8-9
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things
Psalm 95: 2-3
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.
2 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift.”
Luke 17:11-19 reads Notice several things from this text.
I. NOTE A LOATHSOME DISEASE.
Luke 17:11-13 reads, “Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
In Bible times leprosy was a loathsome and lonely disease. Leviticus 13:45-46 reads, “Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.”
- Sin makes us unclean before God
- Sin makes us undone before God
There's absolutely nothing wrong with G-rated entertainment based upon imaginary superheroes. That is indeed a form of very understandable human wish fulfillment. But my heart was genuinely moved by seeing that actor, Ben Affleck, suggest that it would really be nice to think that there “was somebody who can save us from all this, [someone who could] save us from ourselves,” and then in the most incredibly specific language he said, someone who can “save us from the consequences of our actions.” But the world and all we sinners will not be saved by a superhero, only by a Savior. Albert Mohler
II. NOTE A LIFE-CHANGING DIRECTIVE.
Luke 17:14 reads, “So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.”
Rev. Timothy Gibson, M. A., author of Lectures on the History of Joseph, (London: Christopher Vandenbergh, 1848), writes, “Observe the direction of the Divine Physician. The Saviour, by sending the lepers to the priest, not only honoured the law which had prescribed this conduct, but secured to Himself the testimony of the appointed judge and witness of the cure; for, as this disease was considered to be both inflicted and cured by the hand of God Himself, and as He had cured it, He thus left a witness in the conscience of the priest, that He was what He professed to be.”
III. THIRD, NOTE A LEVITICAL DIAGNOSIS.
The term “Levitical” means “of or related to the Levites or Leviticus” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In Leviticus 13:1-44, a passage devoted to the laws regarding leprosy, note how many times you find the phrase “the priest shall examine him.” Luke 17:14 reads, “And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.” Luke 17:15-16 reads, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan
A. Notice His Praise in Public
B. Notice His Posture before Jesus
C. Notice His Proclamation to Jesus
IV. FOURTH, NOTE A LAMENTABLE DIVISION.
Luke 17:17-18 reads, “And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” These men were united in their leprosy but after they were healed there was a division.
Most of us pray more than we praise. Yet prayer is not so heavenly an exercise as praise. Prayer is for time; but praise is for eternity.
“The causes of ingratitude”:
“The nine, where?” Thus Christ with censure, sadness, surprise inquires. There are more than nine sources of ingratitude. But there are nine, and each of these men may represent some one.
I. One is CALLOUS. He did not feel his misery as much as some, nor is he much stirred now by his return to health. Sullen, torpid, stony men are thankless. Callousness is a common cause of ingratitude.
II. One is Careless. He is more like shifting sand than hard stone, but he never reflects, never introspects, never recollects. The unreflecting are ungrateful. Careless
III. One is Conceited. He has not had more than his merit in being healed. Why should he be thankful for what his respectability, his station, deserved? Only the humble-hearted are truly grateful. Conceited
IV. One is Covetous. Though healed he has not all that some others have. They are younger, or stronger, or have more friends to welcome them. He is envious. Envy turns sour the milk of thankfulness. covetous
V. One is COWARDLY. The Healer is scorned, persecuted, hated. The expression of gratitude may bring some of such hatred on himself. The craven is always a mean ingrate.
VI. One is CALCULATING the result of acknowledging the benefit received. Perhaps some claim may arise of discipleship, or gift.
VII. One is Carnal. Already he has purpose of business in Jerusalem, or plan of pleasures there, that fascinates him from returning to give thanks. Carnal
VIII. One is Complacent. He would have expressed gratitude if the other eight would, but he has no independence, no individuality. complacent
IX. One is PROCRASTINATING. By and by. Meanwhile Christ asks, ‘Where are the nine?’” Careless
V. Note a luminous difference.