GET TOGETHER- THE BLESSING OF THANKFULNESS
Lu 17:12-19 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? “Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Yes, those of you who know me know that I enjoy a good meal and especially those at Thanksgiving and other holidays. But on the other hand, if it was just about the meal all that we would have would be a guilty conscience perhaps from overeating and knowing that there would still be more on Friday and on Saturday.
I have good memories of Thanksgiving as a child when several of my cousins and aunts and uncles would meet for Thanksgiving Dinner at our house when we lived with my Maw-Maw, and Paw-Paw Sullivan. Thanksgivings have been great since J.J. and I got married over forty years ago. They really got better after we both received the mercy and forgiveness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In the passage above the main thing that I want to point out is that out of ten lepers who were healed only one came back to thank the Lord Jesus for healing him. The Scripture says that he got sloppy in giving thanks to the Lord for healing him. He glorified the Lord with a loud voice. He fell at the feet of Jesus. This weekend people will get loud in cheering their football team on. I am not saying that anything is wrong with that. On the other hand, how much more and what a blessing it is to get loud in song, or a shout and thank the Lord for all that He has done for us.
There is a song out now by Chris Tomlin called Thank You Lord. In that song there is a lot of thanks for many of the things that we often take for granted. As we go into this week of Thanksgiving ask the Holy Spirit to help you and me to live a life that is a life of Thanksgiving.
I am seventy-two years old. On the wall in my office is a picture of my high school football team my Senior year of High School. There are twelve guys on that picture that have already left this walk of life. I don’t take it for granted that every day that I take a breath that it is only God that gives me that breath. We often take for granted the “small things in life.” We have a two-bedroom house with a bath and a half. Our house would be considered a mansion in a lot of the places that the Lord has had us to travel to. We are so thankful for it. We are thankful for the friends that God has given to us and for so many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. We are thankful for our family. We are so thankful for their marriages and for their children.
J.J. and I are most thankful for the shed Blood of Jesus by which through faith in that Blood and in His resurrection, we know that we have eternal life, and life and life more abundantly. Praise God for these words from Ro 5:8,9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
I also realize that during Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas Season that everything will not be perfect in our lives, or in the lives of others. For some it will be the first Thanksgiving, or Christmas without a husband, a wife, a child, a mother, grandmother, grandfather, or a good friend. Or there good be other trials and challenging situations that would attempt to rob us of our peace.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica the following words in
1Th 5:18 “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We live in a fallen world. So, we don’t blame all the bad stuff on God. But on the other hand because the Lord Jesus has promised us as is written in Hebrew 13:5 “ For He Himself has said , “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” We can give Him thanks in all situations because He never leaves us, and He never forsakes us.
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 46. We are reminded in the following verses and throughout that Psalm that God is with us “Ps 46:10,11 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah(NKJV)
So, not only during this Thanksgiving Season in every season give God thanks. It may be when God has come through for us in some big-time way as He did for the ten lepers. Be sure and be like the one that came back and give Him thanks. It may be thanking God for the everyday blessings that we experience in life and take for granted. Be sure and give Him thanks. It may be during a time of loss, trial, or challenge. Give Him thanks that he is with you. Give Him thanks that He raises up the age-old waste places and restores broken streets and dwellings. In everything and always give Him thanks!
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus please forgive us when we fail to thank You for all that You have done for us. We thank You for the gift of eternal life which you have provided for us, by Your death on the cross and the shedding of Your precious Blood. Help us to be a people of Thanksgiving in season and out of season.
In Jesus Name
Happy Thanksgiving! We love you all!