“Generous gratitude to God and others moves us closer to Christ and to one another.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today –May 22, 2023
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 there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well. Luke 17:15-19, NKJV
Suffering has a way of pulling down relational walls of pride and prejudice. When in a foxhole together, no one is concerned about ethnicity or education, only how to take care of one another. Such is the case with the ten lepers; one is a cultural outsider…a Samaritan, yet all having the same disease, they have banded together to comfort and help heal one another. In a similar fashion, we all are sick with sin, and no one is better than the other; we all need to help each other get to Jesus to be healed! A community of sinners is wise to shun pride and humbly seek the Lord.
Back to the ten lepers. These ten brothers banded together to seek a group healing from the Healer…Jesus. An isolated, ugly, smelly lot; hearing Jesus was entering the village, they were at the gate to meet Him. Pain moves toward God for healing! Mercy was their group prayer, lifted up out of desperate need. Red-hot prayers have a way of immediately gaining heaven’s attention. Then the Great High Priest instructed the ten to “go show themselves to the priests.” Why? Why not heal them on the spot? Their public act of obedience validated their humble hearts. Moving toward the priests, they were healed on their journey while fearful, suspicious spectators watched in awe of God. Public confessions of Christ can move hearts to private conversions with Christ.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
But only one leper went back to personally thank Jesus…the Samaritan…the outsider among the outcasts. With great gratitude out of great faith in Jesus and love for Jesus…he took extra time to say thank you. Indeed, gratitude to God keeps us grounded in God. If not for the grace of God, we are unable to experience the blessings of God…who generously gives to all. Christians have won the lottery…because we get our Father’s love, the Son’s salvation and the Spirit’s guidance. Are you one of the nine who take the Lord’s blessings for granted, or are you the one of the ten who runs to Jesus daily with passion and great gratitude, glorifying Him for loving and blessing you?
Here are a few ways I am learning to be generously grateful. First, be quick to thank God for his blessings. Journal how He has blessed you, and say out loud words of thanksgiving. Secondly, have an ongoing system of saying thank you to people who invest in you. Handwrite a thoughtful, legible note with details of what you are grateful for, “Thank you for being kind to listen to me over lunch; I felt known and understood. And thank you for being vulnerable about your own struggles.” With children, cover their hearts with praise for being thoughtful, caring, and generous, “I am so proud of you for sharing with your sister, and I saw how you helped your friend on the playground. You remind me of how Jesus loves others.” Gratitude to others moves us closer to Christ and to one another. One leper helping another leper be healed by the Lord!
“Those you help will be glad not only because of your generous gifts to themselves and to others, but they will praise God for this proof that your deeds are as good as your doctrine. And they will pray for you with deep fervor and feeling because of the wonderful grace of God shown through you” (2 Corinthians 9:13-14, TLB).
Dear Lord, thank you for healing my heart and for healing those around me by your generous forgiveness through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Whom do I need to go back to and thank for their generous investment in my life, work, or family?
Jonah 4:6; Psalm 100:4; Romans 1:21; Philippians 1:3
Planetshakers: Joy (Acoustic)
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