Sermons these last two Sundays at church have been a punch to the gut. A great punch to the gut.
Last week, Pastor Bart spoke on "The Lost Art of a Thankful Heart," from 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Some take-aways:
Then this week, Pastor Rick talked about "Faith, Salvation, and Thankfulness" as we continue our study on the book of Luke, from Luke 17:11-19. It was the story about Jesus cleansing the 10 lepers, and how only one - the Samaritan - came back to thank Jesus after he was healed. I love the last verse from the story (v 19): "An (Jesus) said to him, 'Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.'" Your FAITH has made you well. It was the Samaritan's heart that received the most healing from Jesus; the BEST healing!
- Thankfulness is a guaranteed result of what God has done in my heart. I have no access to the thankfulness unless I submit myself to the one who gives me a reason to be thankful.
- The reality of my salvation must cause thankfulness.
- In what areas of my life is God waiting for my thankfulness?
- Do I pursue the fruit of thankfulness?
- When I feel "owed" all that I desire, I'm not thankful. Discontent is a cancer to thankfulness.
Here are some more take-aways:
- Only one soul (Samaritan) grasped what had happened and was captured by the great emotion of thankfulness.
- The Samaritan "got it" - the nine other chosen ones were blind - they were so religious, yet so lost!
- When life ceases to go well, then there goes our ungrateful heart.
- Can I count it pure joy - as Paul writes in James - when my life circumstances change?
So as we head into Thanksgiving tomorrow, my prayer is to live with a thankful heart. It's a lifestyle, not an emotion tied to our life experiences and situations.
I love David's words from Psalm 34:
"I will bless the Lord at ALL times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth."(v1)
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" (v8)
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! May it serve as a sweet reminder to live with a thankful heart, regardless of the circumstances.