Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The One or One of the Nine?

LUKE 17:11-19-On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying,“ Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

Let’s take today’s scripture account and insert ourselves. There are ten lepers to include you and me. Same story. Same plea for mercy. Same response from Jesus. Same responses from the lepers; nine display a selfish and forgetful attitude by not returning to give thanks to the Lord for His healing touch. One, full of gratitude, returns in the spirit of reverence and submission giving thanks for Jesus showing Him healing compassion. Now the question – “Where would we find ourselves – the nine walking away ungrateful or the one returning with thanksgiving?” The question is extremely important for as goes our attitude and action of thanks giving, not in a few things, but all things, so is the state and condition of our walks with the Lord. Here are three reasons pointing to the significance of thanksgiving in our lives.

First, the giving of thanks is simply the right thing to do in relationship between the All-Giving Creator and the always dependent creature. What do we have that resulted on our own efforts? The Apostle Paul answers that question with his own to the Corinthian believers, “For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). The answer is “Nothing.” Everything about us comes from God and it is reasonable to give thanks–for all things, all the time. We are that dependent.

Next, the giving of thanks to the Lord is a command – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Pretty straight forward. And what is even more straight forward is Jesus telling us, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). So the failure to give thanks is not only disobedient but reveals low levels of love for Christ.

Finally, the importance of giving thanks is a direct evidence of being filled and thus walking in the Spirit – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:18-21). Don’t look for signs, feelings, experiences, or anything else as evidence of being filled by God’s Spirit. Read the Ephesians passage again. Paul gives us four evidences in the text of what marks the Spirit-filled life – worship from the heart, giving of thanks always, mutual submission to other believers, and the fear of God. See how important giving thanks is? Without it, the power of the Spirit is quenched.

So, the one or the nine? May God help us to be in the minority in this case!

PRAYER: “Father, forgive me for way too many times of not acknowledging Your blessings in my life with thanksgiving.”
QUOTE: “A spirit of thanksgiving is not only right and a command from God but an evidence of being Spirit-filled.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim