Pastor Jim Mann
One of the hallmarks of being a Christian is being thankful. But we aren’t always as thankful as we should be, are we? The holidays are often a good time to stop and count our blessings.
I was reminded of the 10 lepers Jesus healed in Luke 17:11-19. As Jesus walked by they shouted at Him from a distance, asking for help. Jesus healed them and told them to go see the priest. So they headed off to the priest so they could show him they were no longer unclean and then re-enter society. But one of the 10 turned around: “When he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice [and] threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him…” (Luke 17:15-16)
There are a few things I find interesting in this story. First, this man had eyes to see. All 10 were cleansed, but only one figured it out. Sometimes being thankful is harder than other times. Sometimes you have to look for blessings. But there’s always something to be thankful for!
Second, he had the feet to return. Luke noted that all the lepers were cleansed, but only this one came back to say thanks. Even Jesus notes: “Didn’t I heal ten of you?” Do you take the time to go to God just to say thanks?
And finally, he had the voice to praise. He wasn’t quiet or reserved—Jesus had just given him his life back, and he was pretty excited.
To me the most interesting aspect of this story is location. The encounter started from a distance—they shouted to Jesus and he shouted to them. Jesus and this group of lepers steered clear of each other. But the story ends with an embrace. Out of the 10, only this one man had a face-to-face encounter with the Lord.
All 10 of these guys had a great story to tell about how Jesus healed them. But one guy’s story was a lot better. He met Jesus. Thankfulness made that audience with Jesus possible.
If you’re like me you have a lot to be thankful for. Some days it is so obvious…other days not so much. So keep an eye out for it. Train yourself to look for it. Then when you see it, go to God and thank Him (see Phil. 4:4-9; Col. 3:15; 1 Thess. 5:18). Don’t wait until Sunday rolls around. Don’t wait for Thanksgiving. Tell him now. And let others know you are grateful. Tell your face and smile.
Jim Mann, Ph.D. pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch. This interdenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Visit New Life’s website: www.NewLifeDenton.org for more information.