“One Grateful Man”
November 22, 2015
It’s one of my (several) favorite Peanuts cartoons: Linus is shown sitting at a table, pencil in hand. In the second panel the paper he was writing on is crumpled with his expected exclamation, “Rats!” In the third panel we see a trash can surrounded by numerous pieces of wadded up paper and read Linus’ plaintive sigh: “It’s hard to write a thank you note for a Christmas present you’ve already broken.”
We might amend that simply to say, “It’s hard to remember to say, ‘Thank you.’”
When I was growing up, like most homes, dad had some house rules for my brother and me:
- ALWAYS look twice before crossing the street. I learned a painful lesson on the front end of a car for not obeying that one.
- NEVER talk back to your mother. I experienced a different kind of pain the few occasions I dared to test this truth.
- ALWAYS be on time — or call to say why you can’t make it. I remember one time I thought I was too old for this rule (why does the teen-age mind think that way?). I called the next time.
- ALWAYS say “thank you.” Thank you for the gift. Thank you for dinner. Thank you for helping me.
That last one is pretty simple (they all were, really). It was a rule that taught me I was indebted to others; I was not self-sufficient. It was a good rule (and still is). It’s a good rule because gratitude doesn’t come naturally. In fact, if you figure the percentage from one of the stories from Scripture, you might conclude that only 10% of people are genuinely thankful for what they receive.
In a brief story in the life of Christ that is only recorded by Luke, we see at least four theological truths and their relationship to thankfulness. Would you open your Bibles to Luke 17, and let’s meditate together on Christ’s healing of the ten lepers and the lessons of thankfulness.
When God extends mercy, be grateful.
(God is always extending mercy and we should always be grateful).
- Mercy: What God Does for Needy People (vv. 11-14)
- The need for mercy (vv. 11-13)
- The mercy given (v. 14)
- Worship: The Appropriate Response to Mercy (vv. 15-16)
- Gratitude: The Missing Response to Mercy (vv. 17-18)
- Salvation: The Gracious Addition to Mercy (v. 19)
Download the rest of this sermon from Luke 17:11-19.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.