THANKFULNESS – LUKE 17:1-19
Why do two people faced with the same circumstances react in totally different ways?
“It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a company of quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not: they are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians,—and I am one of them.” [Cyprian – to Donatus, 246AD]
Contrast #1: Gratitude
“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him–and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God?” (Luke 17:15-17)
Contrast #2 Earn it!
“Suppose one of you had a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep.
1) say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?
2) Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?
1) thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?
2) Not thank her because “…we have only done our duty.’ “
Do we serve because we think it obliges God to bless us and look after us?
If we know we’re loved by God, and we’re filled with gratitude, then no matter what life throws at us – we’ll cope. But if we don’t believe in that love – If we think we’ve got to earn it, well – when tragedy comes how will we cope?
This week how can we experience the love God has for us?
- Think back to your conversion – remind yourself of how you felt then.
- Reflect on the love Jesus showed you when he died for us on the cross..
- Take time to count your blessings and say thank-you for them.
- Think about what you do that kills the love – the times when you try to earn love. Repent of these damaging attitudes.
- Ask God to renew your experience of his love by his Holy Spirit.
- Ask someone to pray with and for you.
““I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)