We can be forgetful people and especially when it comes to giving thanks to the Lord. So many times, I ask the Lord for things in prayer and forget to give thanks when I receive them. I forget to give thanks to the things I didn't ask for, but the Lord knew I needed them and gave them to me out of His love for me. My heart can be so self-focused, and I forget to look and give credit and praise to the One I owe for all things.
With the season of Thanksgiving upon us, our minds seem to recognize the blessings the Lord has provided for us, and our hearts seem to be more thankful this time of year. But the reality is, this really should be the attitude we have daily as believers.How often can we forget the 20 things the Lord granted us and focus on that one prayer request that seemed to go unanswered?
How often can we forget the 20 things the Lord granted us and focus on that one prayer request that seemed to go unanswered?
The scripture passage of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19 is a helpful reminder not to forget to give thanks and praise to the Lord:
11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” ~ Luke 17:11-19
We all need to be cleansed:
We are all spiritual lepers and need cleansing from our sin. We need to cry out as the lepers did “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”We are all spiritual lepers and need cleansing from our sin.
We need to be obedient:
The ten lepers were told to go show the priests before they could see that they were healed,” And as they went, they were cleansed.” They obeyed what Jesus commanded them to do. These lepers didn't try to tidy themselves up before they headed to see the priests, just as we don't need to clean ourselves up before coming to Jesus. Jesus cleanses us. We need to be obedient to repent and believe.
We need to give thanks:
The leper who came back to give thanks was a Samaritan, and he not only took the time to turn back and give thanks but he praised God with a loud voice. He wanted everyone to hear him giving thanks to the Lord for the gift he had received. Do I praise God and give thanks so He gets the glory and others can see His goodness and kindness? Giving thanks needs to be in all circumstances, we can too easily neglect the blessings at times and forget to give thanks.
We can always be thankful to God in all circumstances.
“The great difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and it is His blessings that make it difficult. Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere” ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Jan. 22)
The quote above from Oswald Chambers is a reminder for me to be thankful in all circumstance and not to forget the good ones that I can so quickly take for granted. Salvation comes to my mind first here and how I should not be neglectful to tell others what the Lord has done for me.
One thought I did notice in the passage is that Jesus recognized that the other lepers did not give thanks. Our lack of gratitude is noticed by Jesus.
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. ~ Hebrews 13:15
The leper fell at the feet of Jesus and worshipped and gave thanks. Oh my dear sisters in Christ, do we drop before our Lord in humility and give Him thanks for hearts that love Him and desire to serve Him? It is only by His redeeming hand that we can be called His daughters. May we, as Spurgeon said below, continually offer the fruit of our lips giving thanks to the One who is due all the praise.
If you are believers in Christ, you are God’s priests, and this is the sacrifice that you are continually to offer—the fruit of your lips, giving thanks to God’s name. ~ Charles Spurgeon
“As fallen creatures, we are inclined to take the Lord and His gifts for granted, and we frequently forget all that He has done for us. When we make it a practice to remember what the Lord has done for us and to thank Him, we help to keep the sin of ingratitude at bay. What can you thank God for in prayer this day?” ~ Tabletalk Magazine, October 2018