Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"Give thanks and praise to God!"

The sermon text for this message was Luke 17:11-19, the story of the ten lepers cleansed by Jesus.

There are three things for a Christian to do this Thanksgiving: pause, take a moment, and give thanks . . . for everything. Why do we do this? We receive Christ's forgiveness, which engenders thanks, or an attitude of gratitude. If this thanks is specifically directed toward God, it's a deliberate act of faith. Where do we do this? We give thanks in church, that is, in the presence of Jesus. He asked the one who came back, "Where are the other nine?" This is a classic example of being "spiritual" (i.e. not in the church of God but keeping to oneself) versus "religious" (i.e. in the church, as God commands).

God's mercies are great! Especially in the USA, we have prosperity, good weather, and freedom of worship lacking in other countries, to name but a few blessings. Don't forget about God, nor be unthankful to Him. We deserve nothing. All things are a gift from Him - including the ability to earn money, lest we become mammon-worshipers. Recognize this fact by acknowledging, by His word, the greatest gift - eternal life with Jesus. In all circumstances, give thanks to Him . . . through Christ in your heart. Follow the leper's example of returning thanks after the fact.

Soli Deo gloria!