Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thank You, Father.

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. He traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men met him. They had a skin disease. They were standing close by. And they called out in a loud voice, "Jesus! Master! Have pity on us!" Jesus saw them and said, "Go. Show yourselves to the priests." While they were on the way, they were healed. When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back. He praised God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Weren't all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Didn't anyone else return and give praise to God except this outsider?" Then Jesus said to him, "Get up and go. Your faith has healed you." - Luke 17:11-19

I’ve been tentatively studying a few examples of Jesus’ emotions. One emotion from Jesus is plain to see in this story. Jesus asked the man three rhetorical questions - questions that He really expected no answer from this thankful man. But instead, Jesus would like to have heard the reasons from each of the other nine.

Ingratitude is another one of those ugly sins which displeases God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. Couldn’t you just hear Jesus’ spirit groan from within for the nine only after being lifted up by the one who returned to offer thanksgiving? Can’t I hear the Holy Spirit groan for me, when I grieve the Holy Spirit in this way?
Ephesians 4:30

If I ever need a wake-up call about being thankful for God’s blessings, I need to re-read Deuteronomy chapter 8. God reminds the Hebrew nation that He brought them up from the land of slavery of Egypt, into a wonderful land of Canaan that was already prepared by another people. Deuteronomy 6:11 God goes into great detail of some of the miraculous blessings that He gave His people. Deuteronomy 8:10 Hosea 13:6 How dare they forget – but they did. Psalms 106:21 And sadly, I forget too many times as well. Romans 1:21

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday of the year - only after Christmas. But, if we reflect on another meaning of Thanksgiving, how fitting it is that we can actually give thanks for the many blessings that we've received throughout the year even before the year is over. Think about it – praising God for blessing of the past, and those yet to come! He has so much in store for us, and so much more even waiting on us, if we are faithful with His blessings.
Malachi 3:10

What scares me is the fact that today, our youth is ungrateful. We have raised our children by waiting on them hand and foot, by giving them expensive gifts and toys, and each year gets better (or worse) than before. We’ve also not taught our children the act of giving back to others, or helping someone else besides ourselves. Our children can for the most part get what they want, when they want it. There’s a serious reminder found in 2 Timothy 3:1, 2 Timothy 3:2, 2 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 3:4, 2 Timothy 3:5 Did you see the little U-word in there?

I certainly have studied another topic in which I fall well short in my responsible duties. I want to be thankful. I know that I am truly blessed far more than even 85% of the whole world. How can I not thank God for what He has done. And I know that God has so much more in store for me – whether in this life, or the life to come. He has prepared a way for me to be able to come into His presence and accept his blessings. Galatians 3:14
Am I Listening To What God Is Saying In His Word?

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