30 Days of Thanks & Praise! Day #15 - Never Forget To Give Thanks (Luke 17:13-18)
Never Forget To Give Thanks (Luke 17:13-18)
Luke 17:13-18, “And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.”
One of the common features of a Thanksgiving dinner in America is a turkey. Whether it’s baked, broiled, or deep fried, it seems that it is a must in most households. Consequently, the words often heard in the Thanksgiving season are, “Don’t forget the turkey!” In the hurry and scurry of it all, some forget to thaw the frozen turkey. Others drive hours to meet with their family members only to discover they left the turkey at home in the refrigerator. Since Thanksgiving Day has lost its original significance to many and is only a time for a big meal, a football game, and is even called by some “Turkey Day,” the number one item that has been forgotten is “thanksgiving” itself. In all the frenzy of the season, may the Lord enable us to be thankful.
The memorable account of Jesus healing the ten lepers sounds out this message. All ten men came to Him to be healed, and all ten of them left having been healed. Nine of them, however, forgot to give thanks. Only one of them “turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks” (Luke 17:15-16). Jesus’ questions are heart-searching even today, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:17).
Giving thanks involves looking back to Christ’s mercy! The one grateful soul “turned back” toward the Lord Jesus. He had cried to Him for mercy (Luke 17:13) and now realized that he had received mercy. He not only had been prey to a hated disease, but he was a hated Samaritan, a reject in the Jewish culture. Yet the mercy of God was greater than his disease and his background, and he gave thanks. What a reminder for us to look back on all Jesus has done for us!
Giving thanks involves falling down at Christ’s feet! The divine record reveals that the healed man “fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.” While he literally fell down on his face before Jesus (something that would not hurt us, either!), the basic idea is one of humility and lowly appreciation. Giving thanks doesn’t come from proud hearts. We must humble ourselves before the Lord in genuine gratitude.
Giving thanks involves speaking up for Christ’s glory! Was this healed man’s thanksgiving genuine? When he shouted “with a loud voice,” did he truly “glorify God?” (Luke 17:15). According to Jesus he did. His commentary was, “There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger” (Luke 17:18). During this Thanksgiving season, like the appreciative Samaritan, may we be found among those who never forget to give thanks!
Never let a single day pass without expressing our thanks to God for His grace and mercy to us. Our lives should be filled with constant praise day after day, not just on a certain single day set aside each year. God is good to us all the time, and our thanks should be equal to His blessings and benefits. When our words and our songs are filled with gratitude, our hearts will be fixed on God as they should be. It is foolish to think that failing to be thankful will not impact our lives in many negative ways. If we are not careful, the tendency in our prayer lives is that they become centered on what we want and need. God has given us the privilege of bringing our requests before His throne, and it is right for us to do so. But our prayers should not be requests for ourselves alone. In the model prayer Jesus instructed us to pray about God’s kingdom and God’s glory as well as our daily needs. Part of Bible prayer is giving thanks even while we are waiting for God’s answer. Some people fail to find peace in their prayers because they are missing the thanksgiving that should go along with prayer and supplication. Gratitude should be a part of our prayer as we discover God’s peace.
Prayer, Lord God, I choose today to say thanks. Though my life is far from perfect, I choose to thank You for all that’s good in my life. I want to grow in this spiritual discipline of gratitude, and that requires the Holy Spirit’s sanctification and my willingness. By faith, I thank You even for the hard things in my life, for You use those to grow me. I love You, I trust You, so I can thank You in every circumstance. I want to give thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray, amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.