“Attitude of Gratitude”

By: Pastor Kent Munsey

November 18, 2018

“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!”

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.

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.

So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” - Luke 17:11-19 (NKJV)

We are in the middle of a series called “Let's talk about it.” We are learning that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). You have a testimony, and it is powerful. In this Thanksgiving season, let’s look back and talk about our testimonies-- the times when God showed up in our lives and delivered us.

The Bible says that God has set before us life and death (Deuteronomy 30:15). We have the opportunity to choose life or death with our words. Are you filled with a negative, complaining spirit, or are you filled with gratitude? What is the testimony of your words? The words of our testimony have the power to direct our lives. Let’s choose to be grateful for everything God has done for us this year.

In Judges 14 we learn about Samson and the time that the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he tore apart a lion with his bare hands. At a later point in his life he came back to the corpse of that lion. He reached his hand into the carcass, and he found honey. He returned to a time in his life when the Lord had protected him, and it was sweet to his soul.

That’s what Thanksgiving is all about-- looking back at what God has done and having an attitude of gratitude. Let’s be thankful that we’re still breathing, that God saved us and delivered us. What God has done in our past should not stay in the past. We should bring it with us and talk about it.

In Luke 17, Jesus encounters ten lepers. At that time, leprosy was a death certificate. If you bore the signs of leprosy, you were immediately condemned and sent to a colony of lepers, separated from your family and friends. It would be a slow and gruesome death as your body decayed and fell apart over time.

Although the ten lepers in this story were from different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds, their race no longer mattered. They were just lepers, condemned to die.

They stood afar off from Jesus and cried out to him “Jesus, master, have mercy on us.” It is significant that they would call him Jesus--because that name means, “the one who saves.” They also identified him as “master,” which means one who is the head, the one who has power.

The lepers were saying, “Jesus, you are the one who saves, you are the one in charge--have mercy.” As lepers, they would have believed that their sickness was a result of sin, and that they deserved to die. But they didn’t want to die, so they were crying out to Jesus.

Whenever you’re in trouble, all you have to do is call out to Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus. There is salvation, healing, hope, provision, and power in the name of Jesus. When they cried out, Jesus not only heard them, but he saw them.

We're never too far off from God that he does not see us and hear our cry. If you have no other reference point today, you can take comfort in the fact that Jesus hears you. Jesus sees the cry of our hearts. He sees every hurt, every bit of pain you have suffered.

Jesus said to them, “Go show yourself to the priest.” As they went, they were cleansed. As they were obeying, they were being healed. Some of the most amazing miracles in our lives are the miracles in motion. As we trust what God says, we receive his promises little by little.

What is most surprising about this story is that out of the ten that were healed, only one came back and said thank you. He fell at Jesus’ feet and thanked him repetitively with a loud voice. We might think that’s a little emotional or excessive, but that’s actually what God wants -- that we give thanks to him continually, repetitively.

We should be careful not to let the voice of our pain be louder than the voice of our praise. If you’ve ever cried out to God in your pain, and he heard you and delivered you, it’s your job to express how filled with gratitude you are. Let's pray that our cries of thanks will always be louder than our cries of pain. What God has done is always greater than the suffering we go through.

Thanksgiving is about remembering what’s been done in the past. When you give thanks you start cranking the engine of faith to fuel you toward what God is doing now. If we're going to live lives that give thanks and worship to God, we have to have reference points, talk about our testimony, and look back and give thanks to God for all he has done.

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

  1. Reflect on the direction of your words. Are you choosing life or death? Are you talking about your testimony?

  2. What points of reference do you have that remind you of the times when God has supernaturally showed up in the impossible situations of your life?

  3. What specifically has God saved you from, what situations has he delivered you out of, and how has he healed you, inside and out?

  4. What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving season? Spend some time thanking God out loud for what he has done for you.

  5. Share your testimony of God in your life with someone else this Thanksgiving.