A young man was walking through the forest one day when he spotted a mountain lion. Instantly the man ran towards the nearest place where he could hide. The hungry lion followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent the man wouldn’t make it. Terrified, the man did the only thing he could think of which was to yell out, “God, give this lion some religion”. All of a sudden, the lion stopped, dropped to his knees and said, ’O Lord, thank you for the food I am about to receive."

If there is one sin that is most prevalent today, it is the sin of ingratitude. God does so much for us. Our indebtedness to him is enormous and yet we rarely or at least infrequently offer thanks for what he has done. In fact, most professing Christians don’t even offer thanks over their meals much less offer thanks for all that God does in their lives. We are much like the little boy who was given an orange by a man. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?” The little boy thought and handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.”

For a child of God thankfulness is not confined to a day or a season, it is an attitude that we should have every day and every hour.

To magnify this point let’s examine the account of the ten lepers in Luke’s Gospel and see some important truths concerning an attitude of gratitude. “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood far off:” We see here the position of the lepers. They were in a terrible position - Luke says here they stood afar off. The disease of leprosy was a painful disease, but the physical pain was not the most terrible part of the disorder. Lepers were separated. They were shut out and cast off. It seems here that these lepers were shut out to an area away from everyone else. They were shut out from their own families. No one knows how long it had been since they had felt the touch of their wife or the kiss of their children. They were shut out from their friends. Friends no longer came over or invited them to go somewhere with them. They were shut out from the fellowship of the church.

Notice that Jesus on his way to Jerusalem entered into a certain village and there met the lepers. The religious crowd had no room for these leprous people. But most awful, they were shut out from the Father. Here is Jesus, the only way to the Father, and they stood afar off from him. Sinners are not near God, they are far off. And they cannot and will not draw near on their own. Do you know what kept them at a distance? The Law. The law shut them out. The law set forth the conduct of lepers. The law said when you pass one, pass on the other side and cry out Unclean! Unclean! Sin puts us in an awful position. And they were all in this awful position. The Good News is that God sent Jesus and the law no longer convicts anyone who has faith.

To hear more about this passage, please join us for worship this and every Sunday at New Hope Church at 22200 Foresthill Rd., Foresthill. CA. 530-367-3650. Service begins at 9:30am with a time of food and fellowship immediately following worship. All are welcome so please come as you are.

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