Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Luke 17:17-18 (NIV)
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”
We will celebrate Thanksgiving around the dinner table this week. By definition, the word “thanksgiving” means an expression of gratitude. However if you are like me, dinner menus, travel plans, and shopping can quickly take over this opportunity to express gratitude.
Luke 17 tells of Jesus healing ten men with leprosy and reminds me that gratitude starts in the heart. They cried out to Jesus for mercy and healing and, “when he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.” (Luke 17:14).
Can you imagine for a moment being forced to live away from family and friends in a body ridden with a flesh eating disease? Incurable at the time, those afflicted would have to yell to announce that they were even coming near another human for fear that the disease would spread. Worst of all, they were not even allowed in a house of worship, because aside from the contagious nature, leprosy deemed them unclean. What a hopeless life sentence!
Unworthy. It is where all of us start before we encounter Jesus. Infected with sin and unclean before a holy God is where we find ourselves too before crying out to our Savior. By grace Jesus redeems us and washes us in His righteousness. Every day of our life lived out under God’s mercy and forgiveness is a reason for gratitude. In addition, we are blessed beyond measure as God meets our needs and abundantly gives us one gift after another. Like the leper, do we remember to say thank you?
After being healed, only one leper returned to Jesus. One of them, 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.” (Luke 17:15-16). A Samaritan! This people group was despised by the Jews, and yet this was the one out of the ten who returned. “Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:19). It is our faith in Jesus that saves us too.
This week pause to think about the goodness of God in your life. Consider very basic needs like breath or warmth and the most lavish gifts of delicious food and other abundance, but most of all remember the gift of the cross. Steal a moment away from the bustle this week and praise God. Remember thankfulness.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, your goodness is abundant in my life in so many ways. I don’t deserve your grace and blessing, yet day after day your love for me is on display. I thank you for the provision, people, and peace you bring—what joy you fill my life with under your care. Most of all I thank you for your Son Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. Help me to live with a daily heart of gratitude. In Jesus Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Timothy 6:11– 11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.