Note: I don't know enough about the bible to be able to speak in an educated voice about anything regarding the lessons. Although I am learning, I am humble enough to know that you wouldn't want me leading devotional any time soon. :D I thought it would be better to find someone who studies this in a little more depth than I have. As we gather together today and eat delicious food, I just wanted to say that I am so thankful for each and every one of you. You are the reason I do what I do and I love you all. Happy Thanksgiving.
Luke 17:11-19 tells us about the ten lepers who asked for healing. They saw Jesus Christ (Yahshua the Messiah) and immediately asked for mercy.
Christ then instructed them to go to the priests. As they were on their way, the ten lepers started to notice how their bodies began to heal.
All the days of being isolated were now gone. They can now go back to their families and friends and live a healthy life.
Out of the ten lepers, only one of them came back to glorify God and thank Jesus.
What can we learn from the one thankful leper in Luke 17:11-19?
Gratitude is rare
The story in Luke 17:11-19 illustrates the sad reality in our world today. Only one out of ten people are truly thankful.
Being grateful isn’t natural. Kids don’t normally learn how to be thankful for themselves. Even adults don’t even know how to say a simple thank you when they receive favor from others.
Learn how to be thankful
While all of us would readily agree that being thankful is important, the application is difficult.
It is not always easy to be thankful.
It is not always easy to look at the bright side of life.
It is not always easy to keep an attitude of gratefulness especially when you go through difficult periods of your time.
However, friends, we are not called to do the easy things in life, but we are called to do the right things and the right thing is for us to consistently be thankful.
Are you thankful?
Friends, sometimes, when I look at the mirror, I see myself to be one of those nine lepers.
Sometimes, it is easier for me to complain than to be thankful. It is easier for me to envy rather than appreciate the things that I have.
This is the natural tendency of our human hearts.
However, it doesn’t have to be like that.
Sometimes, we complain about our jobs, how difficult it is and how boring it is, but did you know that a lot of people have been praying for a job like yours?
We complain about the food on our table, but did you know that millions of people die each year because of hunger and malnutrition?
We complain about our home, but did you know there are thousands of people who live in the streets and even have living conditions worse than yours?
We complain that we are getting older, but did you know that millions of people didn’t have the chance to grow up and experience the beauty of life?
If you are getting older, be thankful because it means that God has been sustaining you all this time and that you still have a purpose to fulfill.
We complain we don’t have shoes, but there are a lot of people who don’t have feet.
We complain that our skin is too dark or our nose is too flat or too pointed, but there are lepers who would just even be thankful that they have healthy skin no matter what color it might be.
We complain about how ugly our voice sounds, but did you know there are people who can’t even talk?
We complain about how hard life is, but did you know it is the difficulties in life that will prepare us for the Kingdom of God?
Gratefulness leads to blessedness
You see, friends, being thankful changes us from within. It helps us to achieve a better mindset. Look at happy and joyful people and I can tell you that the happiest people are also the most grateful.
If you are sad, try to count your blessings. Perhaps, it’s just a matter of changing your perspective in life.
If you can’t sleep, instead of counting sheep, count your blessings.
I can assure you, that no matter what situation you are in right now, there will always, always, always be something to be thankful for.
So, be thankful not just for each other, but also thankful to Yahweh, our Father.
Be thankful not just for the good times, but also for the bad times.
When life tells you to be bitter, envious, and depressed, choose to be thankful.
Choose to be the Samaritan who returned and gave thanks!