Thursday, April 24, 2014

SERMON: A heart of thanks

By LEONARD CHEASBRO, Ottawa Ministerial Alliance | 11/29/2013

Every day should be a day of thanksgiving. We have so much for which to be thankful. The Lord gives us strength to work and He blesses us with our health. It would be easy to take life for granted. But the Lord gave us life here and after — eternal life.  

“Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts” (Psalm 107:21-22).

We live in an unthankful world. Sometimes, people look around and ask “What can I get out of this?” They are centered only on themselves. But when Jesus went to the cross, it was not all about him, it was about us.

We are to sacrifice thanks to the Lord. He sacrificed everything for us when he gave his life so we could have life.

“Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1).

The Lord is good. God is good all the time. He changes not, and He is a very merciful God. But we don’t want to impose on His mercy. We are to give him praise and thanks.

In Luke 17:11-19, we read:

“As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, 10 lepers stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’

“He looked at them and said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

“One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.

“Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal 10 men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.’”

I think this one man praised God in a way you could hear him all over town. He was thanking Jesus for his healing. He was a Samaritan — he didn’t have anything to do with the Jews, and this was an uncommon situation that he would seek out a Jew for healing.

We don’t know what happened to the other nine lepers who were healed. I can only hope they too were thankful for their healing. Sometimes when God performs a miracle or a healing, we fail to thank Him. But, Jesus told this one stranger, “Go thy way, faith hath made thee whole.”

Leonard Cheasbro is pastor at New Life in Christ Church.

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