How thankful are you?

 A few years ago, the lord started teaching me the joy of truly being thankful for all that he has done and given to me. I am not just talking about the sometimes meaningless thank you’s that we offer up, but a deep appreciation and gratefulness for his blessings.

 There is a story in the book of Luke that really made this point hit home for me, it is the story of the ten men that Jesus walked passed one day.

 These men were suffering from leprosy and in those days it was a real stigma to have this disease, the people who contracted it, here “put out of normal society” and forced to live outside of the gates of the city.  They were considered unclean.

 They were sent to the leper colony. They had no hope, and they had to watch how the disease ravaged their limbs, slowly eating them alive. It was and is a horrible disease.

 So what does this have to do with thankfulness you might wander, well when Jesus walked passed them, they called to him, they stood at a distance from him as they were the outcasts and were not allowed near people who did not have the disease.

 They called to Jesus, calling him Master, (rabbi, teacher) to have pity on them. When Jesus saw them, he had compassion for their plight and told them to go to the priests and show themselves. They believed Jesus’ word and left that place and went to the priests like Jesus had told them too. On the way there their bodies, literally healed up.

 Can you imagine their amazement and joy as limbs that were deformed and disfigured grew back healthy, fingers that had since fallen off grew back and facial deformities healed? I think that I would have been completely in awe at what was happening.

 Now here is where the story takes a turn, only one of the ten men who saw that he was healed came back to Jesus to say that he was thankful. He was praising God from the depths of his very soul in a loud voice. Only one!

 The funny thing was that all of the other lepers were Israelites, God’s people. The Samaritans were the outcasts, they were the ones who had taken on the customs of the people around them and diluted the practices and laws that God had laid out for them.

 When the Samaritan returned to Jesus, he asked them where the others were and why did they not feel it necessary to come and give praise to God?  Is it possible that the others took for granted what was given to them, and didn’t feel it necessary to give thanks to God? Is it possible that they were just glad not to be outcasts any longer and got caught up in their good fortune?

 We will never know exactly why they choose not to come back and say thank you to Jesus but when the Samaritan man did come back Jesus said some thing very interesting to him.

He said; 19Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

 Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we can learn a lot from this man, the one who came back.

He realized that his miraculous healing didn’t just happen, but it was on the faith of the words of Jesus, that he was healed. Jesus did not ask them to do anything weird, all he said was for them to go and show themselves to the priests, (that was in accordance to the Levitical law)

 When he came back he was so full of joy at what had been done for him and thankfulness that he was praising God whole heartedly.

 This is what we need to learn, to recognize the miracles big and small in our lives and praise God for them. When I realized this truth, I found that the more I thanked God and recognized his work within my heart, the more joy I experienced in my life.

 It was a cascading effect, thanking him for his love and provision, or for something that he had specifically had done for me that I could see, led to joy in my heart, which led to even more thankfulness.

I made it a practice to make sure that if I was in contact with any person, that I would always thank them for whatever they did for me, big or small, I taught my kids to be the ones to go back and always say thank you, to whomever it was that had helped them or taught them something.

 I believe that the big lesson here is, not to take the great and wonderful things of God for granted in our lives, like our salvation, our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, all of the promises that he has given to us as his children.

 We need to practice daily giving him thanks for all that he has done for us. Daily praising him from the depths of our heart as it will lead to a life that is full of joy, contentment and a deep gratefulness for his many blessings.

 Luke 17:11-19

Ten Healed of Leprosy
  11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 
12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 
13and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 
16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 
18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 
19Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

 Practice Praising Him Today.

Filed under: What is Christian Fruit?