Back in the day, we used to sing, “We’ve got so much, so much, so much (ad nauseam) to be thankful for!” and we do have so much, but how can we express our thankfulness to God? Luke 17:11-19 is all about a miracle of Jesus that points us to 5 principles of living thankful lives.
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.
Jesus didn’t let anything distract or detour Him from His purpose: He was going to Jerusalem because that was the way to the cross. In fact, His path led Him through a place that would make Him “unclean” under the religious system of the day. But He wasn’t worried about what people thought or said about Him. He was committed to one purpose, His Father’s.
12 As 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!”
These sick men also were Samaritans who were considered “half-breeds” by their culture. Most people thought they weren’t worthy of God’s love and acceptance. They had 2 huge strikes against them! But the very ones that culture turns away from and looks down on are the people God wants to help and heal. And they came to the right Person, Jesus, to change their situations.
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
Jesus didn’t do any stunts, say any magic words, or do anything out of the ordinary. It was just a simple, powerful, miracle. But it required them to do something. They had to obey and do what Jesus said to do.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
It’s alright to get excited about what God has done and is doing in your life. It wasn’t a secret. He wanted everyone to know what God had done. Loud is okay! Let’s get LOUD!
16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
He feel on his knees to thank Jesus. There are many postures of worship: lifting your hands in the air, bowing your head, falling on your knees, whatever posture expresses your thankfulness.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?
The others were so excited that they didn’t even think to stop and say thank you. How many times are we like that?
18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Who is most thankful, the insider or the outsider? Sometimes Christians are the ones who take God’s work in our lives for granted.
God wants us to live lives of thankfulness.
- By following Jesus example of pursuing God’s purpose for us no matter what it costs to our reputation or our comfort. We’re not going to veer off course. We’re going to see people changed one life at a time!
- By loving the unloved, by caring for those in need. We’re a church for everyone. Nothing ticks me off more than when I hear, “Oh, they would never come here. Their life could never change.” Don’t set limits on what God can do! Jesus reached out to the despised, the isolated, the sick, and the spiritually confused. We will never put limits on who God has called us to reach. How can you practically reach out to someone in need around you? One way you can reach out is to invite someone to Connection Christmas.
- By obeying God’s word. They had to go to be healed and they obeyed that part of what Jesus said. But they had another decision: would they make the unselfish decision to follow Christ and then thank Him and live a life of thankfulness? You can get a free bible for your mobile device here.
- By worshipping extravagantly. There’s something refreshing and healing about entering into God’s presence. I’m so proud of our worship team and the way they have grown. When we get together for our Celebration Services, it’s all worship, from the music to the teaching, to the offering. We have to intentionally pause for praise in the middle of the rush of life. We should make thanking God a top priority. I thank God every day for the gift of the day and for bringing me through it.
- By remembering the cross.
Matthew 26:26-28 says, While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
Jesus invites us to always be thankful for His sacrifice! We have so much to be thankful for today, but above all, I’m thankful for His Cross!