Saturday, October 9, 2010

Have a grateful heart.

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."


Obviously, we will never know for sure what these men were thinking. As I have reflected on this story it seems to me there was probably one of three reasons that the nine did not return.
Maybe they were afraid to believe. The evidence was clear but maybe they did not dare to believe it because it was too wonderful to be true. They were being cautious. Maybe they wanted to see if the healing was going to "take". A lot of people appear to get better before they get a lot worse, you know. Maybe they intended to say "Thank you" as a later time. Maybe it just had not sunk in yet.
Maybe they considered the healing to be coincidental. After all, Jesus had not touched them or anything. He just told them to go and see the priest. Maybe it was just a coincidence that they experienced a healing after talking to Jesus. Maybe they were getting better already and that is why Jesus just said "Go to the priest." Maybe they were just "Lucky". Maybe there was nothing to thank but fate . . .whatever that is.
Maybe they felt they had earned the healing. After all, they were the ones who decided to give Jesus a try. They were the ones who cried out. They were the ones who acted in faith by heading to the priest. If they were grateful they were grateful for their own wisdom and resourcefulness. What did God have to do with anything?
How many of God's blessings do you and I fail to thank Him for? How many times have we received but not believed? How many times have we thanked our "lucky stars" rather than the Lord? How many times have we concluded that we have "earned" the good things we have?
You see, when you think about it, we are really not much different from the lepers. We receive blessings on every side and often take them, enjoy them, and never give God thanks for them.
So what must we do?
Make it a point to list your spiritual as well as material blessings in a listing of blessings and keep the list close to you.
Do something tangible to express your thanks. A special gift to a ministry, a few hours of your time in serving Jesus, a note of encouragement to someone God has used in your life, a phone call to a friend who has helped you. Go beyond words of thanks . . . seek to demonstrate your thanks.
Respond to God's offer of salvation. The greatest way to show God how grateful you are is to receive the gift He offers. Stop running from Him, ignoring Him, or giving Him half-hearted obedience. Acknowledge God's great gift of Jesus who died for us and because of us. Receive His gift of forgiveness and love. Then follow Him with a dedication and commitment that shows that you mean what you say when you tell God of your gratitude. Have a grateful heart. Recognize that God has been exceedingly generous.

Peace and love,


"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. " (1 John 4:9-10)

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