Episode 2
|
March 28, 2022

I Dare You | To Be Grateful


Are you focusing on your troubles? I dare you to find ways to express gratitude, no matter your circumstances.

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how are you doing this morning
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man it is a joy to be with you here i just want to say hey to all of our folks
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joining us online we are so glad to celebrate and worship jesus with you
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this morning my name is julianne gibbons and i usually am hanging out at our lansing
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campus but because this weekend is spring break weekend i thought what a better place to
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be than brighton michigan what a better place to be than brian
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michigan [Applause] i mean you know who wants warm sandy
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beaches when you can have snowy weather right oh and all of our online friends are
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like yeah right we're somewhere on a beach and it's great oh man but i can joke and laugh about
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warm weather because actually my family had the lovely joy and privilege of going to florida just a few weeks ago
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this is a family a this is a family it is a family it is a photo of my family
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um on our trip there's my husband nate uh we've been married for almost 10 years and our four kiddos cheyenne
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catherine theo and karis and this is a classic mom photo where uh it was a cute background
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the sun shining directly into the eyes of all the children but the background was really cute so
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that's what we did oh man well when you have four kids and you're going to florida you drive in the van
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it's what you do and so we loaded up the minivan with everything we needed and then probably way more than we would
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ever need for a family trip and we headed down to florida
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and about five minutes into uh the car ride a little voice from the back seat
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chirped up and asked that famous road trip question are we
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there yet yeah and i thought this is going to be a
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joyous 18 hour ride and so in that moment of that chirping
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little voice i i just feel like yeah grace of jesus flooded me and i said hey guys
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i am so excited for our family trip it's gonna be fun it's going to be exciting we are going to have a great time and i
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just don't think we have time on our vacation to focus on complaining or fussiness or
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whining and so i challenged them or i dared them if you
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will that every time we noticed someone in our family getting a little bit fussy
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we were going to call them out on it and when they did that they would have to think of three things they were grateful
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for and we did this the entire vacation and that particular child in the back
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seat she came up with quite a long list of things she was grateful for
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and my kids had a really fun time calling out the moments when my husband and i
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slipped into ungratefulness and that's what i want to talk to you
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guys about today you see last week we started a series called i dare you and we looked at this
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idea of being honest with ourselves and looking at the lies we believe in our lives but not just seeing the lies but
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instead to replace them with the truth that we find in the bible and so this morning i want us to look at a story
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that we see happening in the bible of jesus's life and to pull out some lessons that we can learn from him
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because here's the thing friends i know that there are lots of things going on in our lives
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that make it easy to complain to fuss to whine
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but there's also a lot of things in our lives that we need to be grateful for
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and so today i dare you to be grateful
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but like with all dares before you can say yes to the challenge you need to
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know the stipulations right so before we can really talk about gratefulness we need to also contrast it
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with this idea of thankfulness you see today i want to define thankfulness as
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this internal attitude of appreciation you see thankfulness is what we think
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and feel about a situation when someone does something for us but gratitude
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is an outward expression of our appreciation it moves us from just thinking and
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feeling about something to actually changing the way we act
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so let's look at this story together i invite you to join me as we are going to read from luke chapter 17. um if you
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brought your bible along with you or you have a bible app you like to use on your phone i want you to come and read along
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with us we're going to be in luke chapter 17 and we're going to start in verse 11.
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now on his way to jerusalem jesus traveled along the border between samaria and galilee and as he was going
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into a village ten men who had leprosy oh they met him they stood at a distance
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and they called out in a loud voice jesus master have pity on us
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when he saw them he said go show yourselves to the priests and as they
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went they were cleansed one of them when he saw he was healed
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came back praising god in a loud voice and he threw himself at jesus's feet and he
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thanked him and he was a samaritan jesus asked we're not all ten cleansed
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where are the other nine has no one returned to give praise to
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god except this foreigner then he said to him rise and go your
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faith has made you well friends let's
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let's dig into this story here this morning one of the things i love about this
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passage is is right away we get caught up into the story and what's going on what's
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happening in jesus's life it says now on his way to jerusalem jesus traveled along the border between
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samaria and galilee and what i like about this is we already know jesus is on
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a mission jesus already had a plan for the day and the journey he's on his way to jerusalem and
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scholars kind of tell us that probably where he's at in that moment he's about 50 to 100 miles away from jerusalem
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and this is going to be the last time he travels to jerusalem to celebrate the
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passover meal before he'd be arrested and tried and crucified
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buried and resurrected this moment that we get to celebrate in
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easter this moment that we're going to celebrate as a church together in just a couple weeks he's getting prepared for
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that but you see even though he already has his destination in mind he is ready for whatever is going to
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come up that way and so in this moment we continue in the story that there's these ten men
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and they're calling out outside of the village and they're saying jesus master have pity on us
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they're far away and they're removed because they have this disease
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called leprosy and they call out to jesus and jesus
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could have could have shrugged off the interruption could have continued on the mission but he stopped and he paused and
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jesus saw them jesus saw them
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but jesus did more than just see them he was going to look beyond just
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acknowledging their presence and he was going to cleanse
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them you see they're standing far away from
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the village calling out to jesus because they have this disease called leprosy and
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leprosy is a disease that's caused by a bacteria that attacks the skin and attacks the nerves and when it's
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attacking the nerves it begins to kind of build up this pressure underneath the skin so that when you bump your arm or scrape
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or bruise you don't feel it anymore because the nerve damage has made it so you don't
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feel that pain and so if without being treated leprosy can actually lead to the
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paralysis of hands and feet and so they've been removed from the city
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now the really cool thing about leprosy is that today leprosy is treatable and is even curable but for so much of
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history that wasn't the case in fact bear with me as i get a little geeked out about science it wasn't until about
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1940 that we actually started testing and finding treatment for leprosy
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but we still today aren't entirely certain how leprosy is spread from one person to another
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but what we can assume is it because it's bacterial it's passed through the water droplets
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from one person to another but it isn't as contagious as we thought
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it doesn't pass quickly it's passed over long periods of time being in contact
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and so one of the things that i think is really cool is that god when he was calling the
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nation of israel to be a nation he gave them these rules and these guidelines as he set up the community
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to instruct them how to live and i want to read to you this little bit of this article from this bible
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dictionary from bridgeway bible dictionary that kind of gives us this insight into why these men are outside the village you see these laws that you
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can read about in leviticus chapter 13 were focused on isolating these infected
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people for the betterment of the entire community because they didn't want the whole town
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to become infected and so time anyone had any kind of skin abnormality whether it was a rash
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whether it was a boil whether you were starting to lose your hair you had to go and see the priest
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and the priest would quarantine you away from other people and they would watch and they'd study you and if they saw that what you had wasn't contagious it
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wasn't dangerous you would undergo this cleansing cleansing ceremony and you'd be allowed to rejoin society
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but if what they noticed did seem to be contagious and dangerous and was in fact
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leprosy you would no longer be allowed to return to the community
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now if you were healed you could come and return to the priest and the priest would look at you over
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again and if he said you were clean you could rejoin the community again
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but that didn't happen very often and that's not what had happened to
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these ten men you see they had been excluded from the
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community and because they weren't a part of the community they were had resorted
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to begging for food for shelter for provision
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they were alone forgotten unclean
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and jesus saw them and jesus
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cleansed them you see when they called out to him
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i don't know if they knew who he was i don't know if they were even looking for healing i think they were really just more looking for food for that night
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they were looking for a short-term fix to a long-term problem
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but jesus was going to do things that the doctors couldn't do that the priest couldn't do he was going to give them what they
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truly needed friends
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what i love about this story is that it reminds me that i need
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mercy that i too have a problem in my life maybe it's not a skin problem
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but rather it's a sin problem you see i have this sin in my life
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that's building up and it's slowly killing me and it is straining me and i am out of relationship
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with god but just like jesus gives this opportunity for cleansing and healing
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for these lepers jesus gives us this same opportunity in first john 1 8-9 it
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says if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us
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but if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us
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our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness
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maybe you're watching and joining us in for the first time and you're staying there and you're realizing that you've spent a
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lot of your life looking for short-term fixes for this long-term
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problem and i want to let you know that jesus is just waiting for you to call out
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so that he can come and give you the healing that you need if that's you i don't want you to leave
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today without reaching out to someone to ask them what this looks like to reach out
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to a friend who loves jesus and just say hey can you tell me more about what this forgiveness looks like
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and how i can receive it because you see these 10 men were
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desperate and so you would think that after they had encountered jesus
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and after they had their lives changed they would be grateful
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but that's not what we read in our story
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verse 15 one of them when he saw that he was healed he came
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back praising god in a loud voice throwing his feet at jesus and jesus asks verse
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17 were not all ten cleansed
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where are the other nine see just as shocked as they were that
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jesus had seen them and cleansed them jesus was surprised and shocked that they hadn't all come
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back and he asked them and i think he asks us today where
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are the other nine because you see this one man who came
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back he understood something he understood one of the first lessons i want us to talk about today
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and that is that gratitude takes intentional effort
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so you remember at the beginning of our story we we realized that jesus was far away from jerusalem he was on a
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journey and when he sent these men men to go show themselves to the priests
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they had to make the journey to jerusalem they had to make a 50 to 100 mile
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journey and it always is surprising to me the things that we're willing to do when we're desperate and because these men
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were desperate they began a 50 mile journey
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i don't know about you guys but i don't really often walk 50 miles maybe you guys do um but i was like 50
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miles i i don't even have a grid for how far that is to walk thank you google maps for letting me
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know the answer google maps told me that to walk about 50 miles it will take me 22
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hours or maybe if you're into like counting your steps 50 miles is 135
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000 steps and these men do it they begin this journey because they're desperate for
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anything and somewhere along the way i don't know what mile they start realizing that they're cleansed they're
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whole and in that moment they have a decision to make
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will we go back to say thanks
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nine of them continued on with their life and one went back
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because he took the hard choice to do
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the right thing and to show gratitude friends
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the walk to the water cooler to complain about office protocol is always easier
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than the walk to our boss's office to tell her thanks for keeping you through the latest round
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of layoffs it's always easier to rant on social media about how horrible our childhood
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was and how our parents messed up our lives than to call him up
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tell him thanks changing all those diapers driving me to practice every day
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it's always easier to yell at our kid for doing the same dumb mistake over and over and over
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again it's hard to pull him in close and give him the
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hug and say i love you and i am so thankful
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that god put you in my life
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because here's the thing i bet there's someone in this room someone at your job someone down the street who would look
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at what you would consider a problem in your life as an answer to their prayers
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because friends when we don't express our gratitude we begin to forget
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what we have in our lives which is our second lesson that we can
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learn from this story is that silent gratitude is perceived
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as in gratitude
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jesus asked were not all ten cleansed
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where are the other nine has no one returned to give praise to god except this foreigner
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then he said to him rise and go your faith has made you
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well i don't think it took a lot of faith
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for these men to call out to jesus because you see when we're desperate that's what we do
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whether or not you choose to even believe that god is real when life gets hard we turn to some sort of any type of
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higher power to come and rescue us calling out for help doesn't take faith
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it takes faith to go back because i have to wonder what this leper
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thought on he made his journey back to jesus if he ever wondered hey will i find jesus
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and if i find him is he going to recognize me what am i going to say to jesus what is
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jesus going to say to me but you see what he realized
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is that showing gratitude it isn't about us
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it's about those who have made an impact in our lives
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it's about what they have done for us
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maybe as we've been talking this morning someone's come to mind in your life
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who've made an impact and they've done something for you and you realize you've never never told them thank you
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and maybe it happened a long time ago and you're like what kind of feels silly to go say thanks now
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or maybe you're realizing that hey you're actually one of those people that somebody else has to put up with
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over and over and over as you keep making the same dumb mistakes and it feels silly
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to tell someone thank you for something they do dozens of times a day i think it must have felt silly
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for this leper as he made his way back but he realized that unexpressed
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gratitude would be perceived as in gratitude
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we've all been around people who are ungrateful it's not fun to be around
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them but when we don't express our gratitude what are we communicating to the people
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near to us i have a daughter who has this
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incredible gift regardless of whatever situation we're in she can tell us what's going
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completely wrong every time and one day i believe she's going to use
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this gift to bring justice to the hurting and the broken but right now
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she uses it to tell me what's wrong with dinner every night and one day my husband decided to kind
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of confront her on this this attitude that she had and he just said hey
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how many times a week do you think you complain about dinner you know there's seven days in a week
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what do you think she gave him like half a second she's like two
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and he's like babe it's probably more like five
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sometimes six or seven she kind of just looked at him like
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interesting new knowledge um and then he and then he said this he said how
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do you think that makes mama feel
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and her little eyes got all big teary-eyed she kind of looked at me
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i'm sorry mama she might be sassy but she sure is cute
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sometimes oh but friends what are we communicating to those that
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we love and we care about when we don't express our gratitude
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who are we hurting because we've begun to take them for
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granted what would change in our world if we were grateful people
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our third lesson from our story in luke 17 is that gratitude
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changes us at the very end of the story
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jesus turns to him and he says rise and go your faith has made you
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well i am just curious because i'm just a
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curious person but i always wonder what happened next
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what happens after this story you see this guy has made this he's been healed and he's made this journey and he's come
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back to jesus and then what you see i think for him this journey of
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beginning to find jesus was actually just the start of a journey of beginning to follow jesus because his whole life
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had been changed because gratitude changes us
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i want to share with you guys this article that the the harvard medical school put out as they were studying
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gratitude and what they discovered and what they found they wrote the word gratitude is derived
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from the latin word gratia which means grace graciousness or gratefulness just
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depending on the context but in some ways gratitude encompasses all of these
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meanings gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives but with
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gratitude people acknowledge the goodness in their lives
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and in the process they recognize that the source of that goodness
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lies outside of themselves you see expressing gratitude means that
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we choose to look beyond what's going on in our lives look beyond what we're feeling in the moment and to acknowledge
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and see the people around us and what they're doing that have
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impacted us it takes intentionality to stop
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and pause and reflect and see the good that god is doing in
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the world and the good he's doing in our lives i think it's a practice that we see the
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the poets in the psalms do over and over and over again i want to read this one with you from
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king david he wrote lord our lord how majestic is your name in all of the
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earth you have set your glory in the heavens and through the praise of children and
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infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies
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you see choosing to be people of gratitude it changes the way we see the
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world instead of hearing a crying fussy baby we hear songs of praise instead of
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thinking we're the most awesome thing ever we see that god is majestic and
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he's holy and we are in awe that he invites us to be a part of what
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he is doing in the world
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and choosing to be grateful and developing that habit it helps us
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when life gets hard because life will
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get hard james the brother of jesus writes
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consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you
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face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith
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develops perseverance and let perseverance finish its work so you may be mature and complete not lacking
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anything friends we get to choose
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to be joyful when life is
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hard what would it look like if we were a people who chose joy
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even when it was hard what would our friends and our neighbors and our co-workers what would they say
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if they knew we were going through rough times but we still were looking for the good
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how we could share the story of what jesus has done for us
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gratitude changes us you see the leper in this story he no
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longer saw himself as a leper he saw himself as a whole and healed man a man who could go to and from jerusalem
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whenever he wanted to a man who could go into any city any village he could talk to any person
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and he could tell them the story of how jesus changed his
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life who in your life needs to hear the story
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of how jesus has changed you
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the other day i had one of those glorious grateful moments of solitude as a mom i think i was just
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brushing my teeth but it was great and my world-changing child came rushing
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into the bathroom slamming the door thousand miles a minute mom the house is
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falling apart and the kids are knocking down all the toys and everything is gonna follow her and i think the world is ending and
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and i kind of looked at her and i was like do you think in this moment
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you are being more fussy or being more joyful
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and she remembered that dinner conversation and she decided to be honest this time and she went
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probably more fussy i was like yeah probably so babe
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and i got to explain to her and i got to talk to her about this passage in james about how we get to choose joy when our
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brother knocks down the lego tower we can still find joy in those moments
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because choosing joy helps us look more like
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jesus and when we look more like jesus we get to share what jesus has done for
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us and she surprisingly did really well through my two-minute monologue
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um before she kind of looked at me and nodded her head and headed out the door just completely oblivious of whatever
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travesty had just occurred moments ago and i was there and i was patting myself
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on the back good mom teaching the kids about jesus
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and the gentle gentle voice of the holy spirit just kind of sunk in my heart
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and he said did you consider her joy right now
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when she comes and complains and fusses and has meltdowns
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are you seeing those as joy
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are you grateful for her in every moment
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you see there were ten men who called out to jesus
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there were ten men who were cleansed and healed and had their lives restored and one
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came back did the other nine deserve healing
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but jesus doesn't do what we deserve
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romans 5 verse 8 says actually but god demonstrates his own love for us in this
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that while we were still sinners christ died for
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us while we were far away from him
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he made it possible for us to be restored
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that's the greatest gift of all and so i
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dare you to be grateful and maybe for you that starting is
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something simple and it's starting little and maybe it's just saying hey for the next week i'm going to pray
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before every single meal i'm going to pause i'm going to thank god for the food that's in front of me but i'm also
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just going to ask him to help me be aware of what he's doing in my life
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maybe for you this dare to be grateful means that you're gonna take time at the end of every day and you're gonna start
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something called a gratitude journal where you're just gonna write down what happened that day and the good things
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that happened but remember the difference between gratefulness and thankfulness that thankfulness is how we feel and
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gratefulness is us doing something about it so please don't just write it down go tell someone
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go thank them go share with someone what you wrote and say hey
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this is what god's doing in my life and i want to tell you maybe for you
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this dare to be grateful is a desire in your heart to become a person of joy
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and maybe you want to take that dare that i gave my kids and my family vacation and say hey every time
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i start slipping into complaining or grumbling or fussiness and whining i'm gonna call myself out
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and i'm gonna stay three things i'm grateful for because i want to be a person marked by
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joy friends gratefulness takes intentional effort
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it means we acknowledge and communicate to those around them that we care love we care for them when we see them we
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appreciate them and gratitude changes us
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will you pray with me oh jesus i thank you
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for what you've done for us that while we were still far away from you well we were still caught up in our
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sin that was slowly killing us you cleansed us
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i ask that you would give us your eyes to see what you're doing in the world
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to be able to share what you're doing in our lives and in the world around us with those that are close to us
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we thank you jesus it's in your name we pray amen



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