Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 8, 2016
One of them [a man with leprosy], when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:15-19
My heart can feel thankful, but until I take the time to express my gratitude with a grateful prayer to God, a spoken word of blessing, a note of thanksgiving or a phone call of appreciation—I only conceal what I feel. Verbalized gratitude bends heaven’s ear toward earth while blessing those who hear its heart. A friend recently took the time to write me a note (legible!) of appreciation for helping him with his men’s retreat. The sincerity of his words and his description of how I blessed him really blessed my heart. The note rests next to my coffee pot for daily enjoyment!
Leprosy is a debilitating, snarly and a painful disease from a slow growing bacteria causing a loss of feeling in the arms and legs, along with muscle weakness. In Jesus’ day not only was this condition hideous to the eyes—an inflicted person was ostracized from the community. At the very moment the sick individual needed care and support—they were isolated. So, healing by Jesus was an extraordinary relief for the ten lepers—an event that pricked a scared society’s soul. A hug from a healthy person felt awkward—aches were replaced by joy! Remarkably, the twice shunned foreigner took time to thank Jesus. Love enjoys the gift, but also thanks the gift giver!
“She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.” Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins” (Luke 7:47-48, MSG).
Does the experience of Christ’s deep cleansing in your soul erupt with life-giving gratitude, praise and thanksgiving? The more you fear the hideous nature of sin and its debilitating effect on your relationship with God the more you feel forgiven, elevating within a greater love and appreciation. Now you are an accepted citizen in the City of God—no more groping around in the dark prison of self-reliance and selfishness—you have been delivered from self and set free to follow Jesus. Exuberant expressions of gratitude draw attention to God and His healing heart.
Who needs to hear you say thank you, I appreciate you or I thank the Lord for you? Say it. Say it soon and say it often. Write a note. Leave a voicemail. Send a text or email. Sow little seeds of appreciation and watch them grow like untamed kudzu. Most of all, express your heartfelt gratitude with imperfect praise of your perfect heavenly Father in private and public worship. Go back again and again to the foot of the cross where your spirit found footing by faith in God. Wholehearted worship is the epitome of expressed gratitude to the Lord for salvation in Jesus.
“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: ‘He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.’ And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord” (Ezra 3:11).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I praise and thank You for being the God of my salvation in Jesus.
ApplicationHow can I increase the intensity and focus of my worship of Almighty God?
Related ReadingPsalm 100:4; Jonah 2:9; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 12:28
Post/Tweet todayIf we conceal what we feel—our unspoken gratitude shows ingratitude. #WisdomHunters #expressgratitude
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