An Attitude of Gratitude

The message was brought by David Osborne.

Attitudes are contagious—good or bad.  Both a smiling and a sour face are contagious.  We must understand that God highlights an attitude of gratitude.

Luke 17: 11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Jesus was traveling.  Luke thought this story was important enough to write down.  Ten men had leprosy, a disease that rotted the skin.  The people were isolated and had a feeling of rejection.  From a distance they lifted their voices to Jesus and asked for mercy.  Jesus turned to them.  Think of it from a spiritual standpoint.  Sin has the same effect.  It isolates us from the presence of the Holy One.  Think about the isolation that will come in hell.  We must never forget what Jesus did for us.

Look at Jesus’ intent.  The Mosaic Law said the lepers had to show themselves to the priest.  Leviticus 14 tells us how that process was set up.  That’s all Jesus said to them.  His intent was to see if they would obey.  There were 10 of them.  About 10% of people struggle with an attitude of gratitude.  Isn’t it easier to criticize and not compliment?  Isn’t it easier to see the negative instead of the positive?  It’s easier to be ungrateful instead of grateful.

Then we see the result.  One came back.  Nine did not.  Those nine were concerned with the here and now—just being taken care of.  They were more concerned about the physical than the spiritual.  I want to help us get our eyes on Jesus like the one did.  We have clothes, food, and a roof over our head.  You say you worked and got that all by yourself.  I say not.  Who gave you the strength to work and earn that money?  How dare we forget where it came from?  Without an attitude of gratitude we become ingrates.

Thanking God is part of worship.  Our thanksgiving is about all we can give back to God.  We might give money to the Lord but no amount of money will buy our way into heaven.  Our heart must be right with God.

Look at Psalms 107.  Verse 8:  Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Verse 15: Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Verse 21:  Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!  Verse 31:  Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!   Grasp this truth in our Christian life.

Philippians 4 gives us four results. First: Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.  Second:  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Third:  Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Fourth:  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Do you think it’s important to have an attitude of gratitude?  We’ll have a church that people like to come to.  The Lord wants us to be hospitable.  We should be rejoicing and worry free.  If we struggle with this maybe we don’t have a spirit of gratitude.  That’s how people see the grace of Jesus—through our attitude of gratitude.  Do you have it?  It should bring people to the cross.  I struggle with it.  It’s not natural for most of us.  Do you look at the “oh me” side?  Let God challenge you.  Let him break you.  This leper lifted up his voice in thanks to God.  He ran to the feet of Jesus.  We need to go there and thank him for what he has done?

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