Are you thankful?
Pastor Tyrone preached a powerful message this Sunday on the thought, “Are you Thankful?” Below are the text, notes, and questions for reflection.
Text: Luke 17:11-19 NLT
11 As Jesus continued toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!”
16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?
18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.[c]”
Leprosy in Biblical times
Leprosy was a skin disease and those who had it were excommunicated from society.
"The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, 'Unclean! Unclean!' As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp" (Leviticus 13:45-46).
Healing happens when we do what God instructs us to do.
The ten lepers cried out to Jesus and asked Him to have mercy on them.
Jesus instructed them to go and show themselves to the priest because it was the priest’s job to look over the lepers and determine if they could be re-admitted into society.
As the lepers obeyed the instructions of Jesus, they were healed.
When they obeyed the word of the master, leprosy began to disappear.
Every step of obedience that they took made their situation improve.
The lepers operated in FAITH as they began to take steps to get to the priest. They didn’t argue with Jesus and tell Him it didn’t make sense to go and show themselves to the priest when they were clearly still lepers. They moved in faith and Jesus responded to their faith and healed them.
When we operate in FAITH, when we lean and depend on Jesus, miracles happen!
When we follow Jesus’ instructions our situation improves
Reflection Question: Are you in a difficult place right now? Have you obeyed the instructions God has given you? Are you focused on being BOTH a hearer and doer of the word? Do you find that you wait until it makes sense before you obey?
Giving thanks vs. being thankful
All ten lepers were healed but only one decided to come back. This one leper realized that Jesus wasn’t obligated to heal him. This realization made this leper return and he didn’t just say “thank you,” his actions demonstrated thanksgiving.
There is a difference between saying thanks and being thankful
Many say thanks, but how many of us live in such a way where our actions demonstrate that we are thankful.
Anyone can say thanks, but my life should exhibit gratitude to the one who has given to me the gift of life
Difference between thanksgiving and thankful living!
Reflection Question: Take inventory of your recent actions. Are you in the habit of JUST saying “thank you” or do your actions demonstrate that you are truly thankful for all that God has done?
A thankful person walks in humility!
Philippians 2:3-4 gives us the perfect definition of Humility: a willingness to put others before yourself; not looking out only for your own interest but consider others as well. A truly humble person is also filled with thanksgiving because they recognize that all the glory belongs to God. They didn’t make things happen on their own. The one leper who returned demonstrated true humility when he came back to demonstrate how thankful he was.
This leper demonstrated true humility when he returned and threw himself at Jesus’ feet.
This leper did not think he was too good to come back. He realized that he didn’t get healed because of his own merits, it was only because of the grace and mercy of God. He took the time to humble himself before the one who showed him mercy.
When we are humble, we don’t try to take credit for what Jesus has done nor do we ignore it, we come back and show how thankful we really are.
Reflection Question: Have you been taking credit for things that God has done by not coming back to tell God thank you and living a life that demonstrates thanksgiving?
A thankful person knows how to give thanks, how to praise God!
Saying thanks is a form of WORSHIP!
You cannot say you are thankful and not express it through praising God.
In verse 15 of the text, the lepers make a loud request to be healed. After he received his healing, one leper came back with a loud voice of thanksgiving!
His “thank you” was louder than his request.
His prayer led to his praise. My prayer should always lead to my praise.
Reflection Question: Do you only spend time asking God for things or do you also spend time giving prayers of thanksgiving?
A thankful person blesses God wherever God blesses him.
There are many suggestions as to why the other 9 did not return. Some say the other 9 were thankful but they were just waiting until the right time to express that gratitude. Some say the other 9 were waiting until they got into the Temple to give God thanks. However, the one who returned was willing to bless God in the very place that God had blessed Him! He was not going to wait for the “perfect” scenario or place to offer thanksgiving!
God blesses many of us and we don’t give Him the thanks that He deserves right there and then. We feel that we can’t give God thanks unless we are in the sanctuary and the choir is singing our favorite song.
Wherever God displays his power is where I am going to display my praise!
Reflection Question: Is it easy for you to bless God in the same place that he has blessed you?
A Thankful person returns to the Lord, even when they don’t want anything!
The one leper who returned received what He wanted from God, but he still returned to say thank you. We must have the same mindset of returning to God even when we have received what we wanted.
God wants us to come to Him even when we have received what we wanted.
Many come to God to get from Him but not to be with Him.
He wants to be in fellowship with us
When things are well, I should still run to God!
Our mindset should be, “God you have been so good to me and I have to come back to be with you, just to worship you!”
Thankful saints come to church even when they don’t want anything from God.
Thankful saints STILL pray when all is well, and there is no pressing need.
Thankful people STILL press to read and study the bible even when they are not in a fire.
Reflection Question: Do you only run to God when you want something?
A Thankful person gets closer to the Lord!
Initially his leprous condition kept him distant from Jesus, but when he came back to say thank you, His praise put Him at the feet of Jesus!
Our praise brings us into God’s presence, praise makes us closer to God!
Reflection Question: Do you feel distant from God? Have you considered offering up thanksgiving to Him to get into His presence? Is it difficult for you to offer thanksgiving to God?