Tomorrow during Kids’ Express, we are going to celebrate our Thanksgiving, thank you Jesus feast. I have the privilege of attending and I have been invited to share a short message from God’s Word. I want to talk about being appreciative or grateful. We have to be taught and reminded to be grateful because gratefulness is not our nature. Because of our sin nature, we are selfish. Gratefulness comes out of a selfless attitude. This is important because if we do not teach each generation to be selfless and grateful we cannot expect them to be. Once we teach people to be selfless and appreciative, we have to remind them of it over and over. We have a tendency to forget. God has set up annual holidays that remind us to be grateful. These are good reminders for us.
I want to take a look at 3 examples from the Bible of people who were not grateful and what we have to learn from them.
Lot was an orphan who was taken in and raised by his uncle Abraham. Abraham taught Lot faith. Abraham also taught Lot how to work hard. Lot became rich and prestigious because of Abraham. Lot, instead of being appreciative, became proud. When Abraham’s people could not get along with Lot’s people, Lot chose to take advantage of Abraham instead of appreciating all that Abraham had done for him. Lot chose the fertile valley and left Abraham on the side of a mountain. God had the last laugh because Lot ended up choosing to live in Sodom. He paid a heavy price for his lack of appreciation. Abraham, in contrast, came to faith and as a result he was a grateful person.
II. 10 Lepers
There were 10 lepers who were together in a leper colony. Jesus chose to pass by them and they cried out to Him to heal them. He took time to listen to them and He sent them to go to the priest. The priest was the one who could declare them healed. While on their way, they realized that they had all been healed. One of the former lepers turned back and bowed at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him. He was the only 1 of the 10 who was grateful. The others were probably in a hurry to see the priest so that he could send them home to their families. They were probably noble in their intentions yet they were still ungrateful.
III. Simon the Pharisee
Jesus came to visit Simon the Pharisee. Simon was blessed to have the Savior of the world walk into his house. He should have been humbled by this gesture and he should have shown great appreciation to Jesus. Simon was actually very offensive to Jesus. In the culture of the day, when a person entered a home, the fist thing that happened was that the visitor was offered water to wash his feet and hands. Jesus lets us know that Simon did not offer Him water to wash His feet. There is a woman in the passage who is described as a sinner. She comes to Jesus and washes His feet with her tears and hair. She recognized who Jesus was and was appreciative, thankful to be able to see Him and meet with Him. Simon did not respect Jesus with a holy kiss of the day yet the woman was kissing Jesus’ feet. All Simon did was pass judgment. He judged the sinful woman for being sinful. He also judged Jesus for allowing the sinful woman to touch Him. As a result of her appreciative attitude, her sins were forgiven because she came to faith in Christ. The result of faith is being appreciative. A thankful person is demonstrating that his faith is real.
Are you a grateful person? Has God changed you from a selfish person to a selfless person who is able to be appreciative? Are you being reminded of your need to be appreciative? How do you show your appreciation to God? Do you worship and serve the Lord? Do you seek to serve the people around you? Are you teaching your children to be appreciative? Are you demonstrating gratefulness to your kids? May the Lord help us to be grateful always, showing that be serving the Lord and serving the people around me.