This week at Wednesday Night Worship we began a 2 week series called "Give Thanks." We began the night with a worship set that included "You Are the Fire" (Michael W. Smith), "My Heart is Your" (Kristian Stanfill), and "Hosanna" (Hillsong United). We transitioned by watching a funny video set at a family's Thanksgiving meal. They ask the young girl who is about five years old to bless the meal and she prays a very long prayer giving thanks for everything from food to bubble gum to Barbie dolls, and finally to her wonderful family.
I started off the message talking about some of our favorite Thanksgiving meal options. Some foods stated were turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, and even something I had never heard of called sloppy-joe casserole. I talked about how when you get the first plate of food, the first bite tastes so good. The second plate tastes pretty good as well. However, there comes a point when you start to become full and each bite become less tasty. Another way to put it is that each bite has a diminished value to you. We experience this in many ways others than just in eating. We all at one time or another have received a gift and considered it the greatest thing ever, but over time it loses its value to us. We begin to become less grateful for it. If we are not careful, we can easily develop a habit of this and become less thankful for what is in our lives. Then if this becomes a habit for us, we begin to develop a sense of entitlement. We begin to think that we "deserve it" and are not thankful anymore. Some questions I asked the students to consider were:
1) Has my thanksgiving/gratitude in general diminished?
2) Has my thankfulness for salvation in Jesus diminished?
We read Luke 17:11-19 where Jesus heals the 10 lepers. Jesus heals all 10, but only 1 returns to show his gratitude. The 9 may have been so concerned with returning back to a normal life that it was more important than showing their gratitude for their healing. If we are saved, we have been healed from a disease that is far worse than leprosy. Our sin has been removed and we are healed. How much more so should we fall at the feet of Jesus and show Him that we are thankful. However, we often allow the value of salvation to us diminish. Maybe over time we begin to be less thankful that Jesus saved us from death.
We closed with a time of prayer and examination. I asked the students to search their hearts and see if they have allowed this to occur in their lives. If so, I challenged them to pray asking forgiveness and to pray what David wrote in Psalm 51:12 "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation."