The Thankful One

the-thankful-leper“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were not any found who returned to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)

The Apostle Paul tells us to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess 5:16-18) Hopefully as committed Christians we are doing so daily.

I am thankful for my parents and their Godly example and my Christian heritage, more valuable than any of the world’s wealth. I am thankful for my wife and our long happy marriage. I am thankful for our son and daughter-in-law and our precious grandson. I am thankful for my friends and our mutual support and acceptance of one another’s goods and not-so-goods. I am thankful for my Church family and the iron sharpening iron fellowship with other believers. I am thankful for the privilege of ministering to others and receiving the same in even greater measure.

I am thankful for each sunrise that brings God’s promise of His loving-kindness and faithfulness afresh. For each sunset’s spectacular finale to another blessed day and a clear night’s stars lighting up the infinite heavens. For the first of the many things of spring, the summer’s wondrous beauty, the splendor of autumn, the winter’s quiet and solitude, for home and hearth and pets.

I am thankful that He made us the crowning glory of His creation. I am thankful that while we were yet sinners God loved us and sent His Son to die in our place. I am thankful for our being called from darkness and death into His marvelous light and life. I am thankful He has prepared a kingdom for us with no end. I’m thankful that God is good, and as we discover the treasures of His goodness, our lives become abundantly whole. I am thankful for His steadfast, unchanging character and the gifts He loves to bestow upon us.

But, “where are the nine?” Those nine lepers represent so many in this world who accept the blessings of God but give Him no thanks. They receive His healing, but not the Healer. They covet salvation and heaven, but reject the Savior and their blood bought rescue from hell. Some even call Him, Lord, but “do not the things He says.” Regretfully, I have been among the nine. Sadly, I can identify with them. I was also once a “foreigner.” But praise God He drew me to Himself. His mercy, grace and love overcame my ingratitude and thoughtlessness.

What are you thankful for in your life?

Friends, let us join together and joyfully, prayerfully, thank Him for who He is and for all that He has done! Just like the leper who came back – the thankful one.

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