Octorber 13, 2019, Be Thankful for His Blessings – Helen Harris, guest

To listen to this sermon, click here: Z0000157

I begin this morning by telling you about a very close relative of mine who is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. She has had one breast removed and now the cancer has spread to other breast and into her lungs. She is 69 years old and she and her husband just celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. They have shown great strength and courage, and have been committed to each other, in more ways than ever throughout these past four years.

Our wedding vows are very sacred and we commit to one another before God to live together in the covenant of marriage. Someone recently said to me that when we say the words in our wedding vows, in sickness and in health, we really never know what it will truly mean.

Being a caregiver of a spouse or parent can take a toll on anyone. Michael and I were caregivers for my mother. I thank God that I was able to give back to her for all that she gave to me. Giving prayer to Jesus and thanks, He walks beside us with each step, giving us strength for every decision and choice we make.

I often reflect back about my parents how they raised their four children, teaching us respect and honor and bring us up in a faithful environment. I am very thankful to them for always being available to turn to for encouragement and always there to give us their never-ending love.

Often, we forget to thank each other and God for what He gives us each day. We certainly don’t ask for diseases or heartaches in our lives but they fall upon us when we least expect them. When we face troubles, the Father looks for us to pray to Him to ask for strength and courage to work through the troubles we face and he will help us.

When illnesses strike us, we often feel alone and in a world by ourselves. Often when troubles arise, we look to God in prayer for help. Just as only God can heal us of disease, only God can free our hearts from sin.

Each morning when I awake, I give thanks for the new day that I have been given. I have eyes to see, ears to hear, movable arms and legs, and my memory is still with me. My day begins with morning prayer and praises to our Lord Jesus Christ.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus encounters ten lepers on his way to Jerusalem. In those days, lepers kept to themselves in groups of their own. They were considered unclean. They wore rags for clothes around themselves and covered their heads as not to be seen. They usually had no land to till and no livestock and depended on the mercy and pity of others to obtain food.

When they see Jesus, they immediately ask him to take pity on them for whatever he might give them. They don’t actually ask for healing but ask for clothing and shelter and his compassion.

Jesus instructs the ten to go to receive cleaning from the priests of the village. They obey Jesus. As they went, they suddenly discover they have been healed. As they look at each other they see that their skin is clear and clean. They shout with overjoy as they were all made well.

The nine who were healed were probable Jews, who return to their families in the villages and their lives. The nine did have faith, but seemed to be unthankful for their healing. Jesus gives freely, and we are free to respond with gratitude.

But the tenth, a Samaritan, returns to Jesus and falls to his knees to give him thanks for his healing. He had faith and praised Jesus giving him thanks.

When we are young, our parents surprise us with gifts for our birthdays and at Christmas time. We are thrilled with joy and thank them.

God gave us the most precious gift of all, he gave us his only beloved son who gave up his life on the cross and to give us eternal life. His victory was won for us in our gratefulness.

We can thank and praise God for everything in our lives. In our times when life is the most difficult, let us continue to offer to God praise and turn the troubles to triumph. Thank and praise God for everything in your life. Thank Him for even the difficulties. God knows what is best for us and opens the door with blessings when we need it most.

Are we taking God’s blessing for granted? Are we thankful even in the hard times.?

When hard times come, know that God is a calm passionate God who suffers with us.

There is a quote from Rick Warren that says:

  • “God smiles when we praise and thank Him continually. Few things feel better than receiving heartfelt praise and appreciation from someone else. God loves it, too. … An amazing thing happens when we offer praise and thanksgiving to God. When we give God enjoyment, our own hearts are filled with joy.”  — Rick Warren

Having a thankful heart is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. 

Amen

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