North Anderson Baptist Church
A Season of Thanksgiving, Part 2 - Thanks to the Holy One
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, we want to always remember to be thankful for the blessings of this life and for all that God has done for us.

In A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Rev. John R. Ramsey tells how in one church a certain person provided him with a rose boutonniere for the lapel of his suit every Sunday. At first he really appreciated it but then it sort of became routine. Then one Sunday it became very special.

As he was leaving the Sunday Service a young boy walked up to him and said, "Sir, what are you going to do with your flower?" At first the preacher didn't know what the boy was talking about. When it sank in, he pointed to the rose on his lapel and asked the boy, "Do you mean this?" The boy said, "Yes, sir. If you're just going to throw it away, I would like it."

The preacher smiled and told him he could have the flower and then casually asked what he was going to do with it. The boy, who was probably no more than 10 years old, looked up at the preacher and said, "Sir, I'm going to give it to my granny. My mother and father divorced last year. I was living with my mother, but she married again, and wanted me to live with my father. I lived with him for a while, but he said I couldn't stay, so he sent me to live with my grandmother. She is so good to me. She cooks for me and takes care of me. She has been so good to me that I wanted to give her that pretty flower for loving me."

When the little boy finished, the preacher could hardly speak. His eyes filled with tears and he knew he had been touched by God. He reached up and unpinned the rose. With the flower in his hand, he looked at the boy and said, "Son, that is the nicest thing that I've ever heard but you can't have this flower because it's not enough. If you'll look in front of the pulpit, you'll see a big bouquet of flowers. Different families buy them for the Church each week. Please take those flowers to your granny because she deserves the very best."

Then the boy made one last statement which Rev. Ramsey said he will always treasure. The boy said, "What a wonderful day! I asked for one flower but got a beautiful bouquet."

That's the thankful spirit. That's the gratitude attitude. And it's that attitude that should guide our giving and our lives. Like that boy's granny, God has blessed us so much. God has been so good to us that giving shouldn't even be a question. It should just flow from us naturally.
(from A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Adapted by Billy D. Strayhorn, "The Gratitude Attitude")

The title for today’s message is “Thanks to the Holy One!”
Being thankful should be the attitude of our hearts. Today let’s be reminded of the “one” man who came back to say thank you to Jesus. It is hard though to think of him and forget the nine who chose not to come back and thank Jesus for their healing.

You see, in the days leprosy was rampant and those who had it were cut off from the society and were called untouchables, who had to call out to other people they met if they came close to them. It seems that these men who had leprosy, whether they were Jews or Samaritans had to stick together for protection and necessity.

How did they know about Jesus? If it were me and I had information about a man who healed people who were sick, even lepers, then I would be on the lookout for him wherever I went. Seeing Jesus and desiring the most important thing to me, healing, I would call out too. But why did only one return and a Samaritan at that, and not any of the Jews? First, I think that the ethnicity doesn’t matter. The heart of the person makes the difference. This man saw he was healed and he did what was right, he said thank you. Maybe his mother had taught him well or maybe he saw such love in the heart of Jesus that he just had to say thank you! I don’t know and I am not sure we can ever know why he returned, he just did. That is the important thing.

“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”—Unknown
Those Who Do Not Give Thanks - A godly farmer was asked to dine with a well-known gentleman. While there, he asked a blessing at the table as he was accustomed to do at home. His host said jeeringly, "That is old fashioned; it is not customary nowadays for well-educated people to pray before they eat." The farmer answered that with him it was customary, but that some of those on his farm never prayed over their food. "Ah, then," said the gentleman, "they are sensible and enlightened. Who are they?" "My pigs," the farmer answered.

Being thankful has nothing to do with being enlightened, it has everything to do with being grateful to God who has made us. Are you grateful in public to what God has supplied to you to give your body what it needs or are you like the pigs?
The Old Testament tells us that those who are healed of leprosy must go to the priest to have him acknowledge that the leprosy is gone and he is once again clean and can become a part of the society again. Our one leper started to go to the priest to get the pronouncement but as soon as he saw that he was healed he turned around and came straight to the Lord Jesus to praise God and say thanks to the Savior. Jesus recognized that this man was giving praise to God and that he wanted to express his gratitude to Him. So, Jesus not only called for him to go and present himself to the priest but Jesus declared him not only healed physically but also spiritually. Because of the man’s faith he was saved from his sins.

There is a lesson from this incident. Those who received healing from their leprosy went about living their new life cleansed of the dreaded disease. But the one who returned to declare praises to God and to say thanks to the One who healed him, because of His “attitude of gratitude” Jesus did much more for him, He saved his soul. Not only could the man now go back cleansed into the society from which he was cast out like the nine other men but he, unlike the others, could now walk in newness of life physically and spiritually with a thankful heart for the salvation given him that would last forever. When you give thanks to the Lord Jesus for what He has done for you in this life it makes the present life and our eternity with Him so much sweeter.
What has our God done for you lately? Not just in the past or when you were saved, but recently, that you have failed to say Thank You to the Holy One who touched you with His mercy and grace. We should respond like the Samaritan by going to Jesus praising God for His gracious touch of tender love and be thankful for the blessings from the hand of the One who died for you and me.

Ever Grateful - In the early 1900s, a policeman was walking his beat in Chicago when he observed a man standing before a little mission. He had removed his hat, and the officer thought he was acting rather strangely. Thinking the man might be drunk or ill, the policeman approached him. He noticed that his eyes were closed, so he nudged him and said, "What's the matter, Mac? Are you sick?" The man looked up and smiled. "No, sir. My name is Billy Sunday I was converted right here in this mission. I never pass this way without taking the opportunity, if possible, to stand quietly for a moment and whisper a prayer of thanksgiving."

You might not be a great preacher like Billy Sunday or you might not have been delivered from such a terrible disease like leprosy but if you have been saved, spiritually or physically, think of the circumstances and the people who were involved and take time, if they are still around, to say thanks to them or for them. This service is about God’s great love and grace bestowed upon us and about us being thankful for all He has done for us through the spiritual miracle of salvation or through people who have affected our lives for the good.
I ask you to do two things this morning.

1. Go to the altar and pour out your heart in thanks- giving to the God who saved you and changed you for all eternity. Then go and see those who may have had a part in bringing you to Christ and having a great change in your life, and say thank you to them. If they are in this service today, go to them now during this invitation and let them know how you feel. If they are not here, then go to them later today or call them or at least write them and tell them what is on your heart.

2. Then if you have never received this spiritual healing from sin, consider this: Jesus died on the cross for you and me and has forgiven our sins through that sacrifice. Recognize and believe that He died and was buried and then rose from the dead on the third day to give to all mankind eternal life who would believe and receive. If you would believe this for yourself and confess that you are a sinner and repent of your sins, then I ask you to respond this morning by coming forward to tell me that you have made that decision and I will pray with you and show you some scripture and we will rejoice with you this day for the eternal change in your life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.
Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com