a Thankful Life
Being thankful needs to be demonstrated physically. We can understand that we were given something or something was done which was to our benefit, but we still need to demonstrate our gratitude.
In Luke 17, we read about ten lepers who ask for healing from Jesus as he passed by their town.
and lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."Luke 17:13 ESV
Jesus give them instruction to leave Him and go to the priests. As they are going to the priests, the ten lepers are healed. However, only one leper out of the ten come back to thank Jesus and give praise to Him for the healing that was given.
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.Luke 17:15-16 ESV
One reason Jesus calls us to this scripture is to remind us how much has been given and how we do not show gratitude to the right people or to God. Taking time to reflect on all the things that have happen to is and how often there has been intervention by God or others. A thankful heart realizes that what one has or has been given is not because of our own ability and therefore we are compelled to show our gratitude. A thankful life will only take place if we have generous hearts.
Interestingly all ten lepers are obedient and healed. Jesus does not commend their obedience, but He does acknowledge and praise the one who showed gratitude. The lepers who went to the priests would have given them a thank offering as required. The lepers would have given thanks to the priests. Jesus sent the lepers to be grateful horizontally so we can understand the vertical influence. Only one gave thanks to the vertical influence.
The truth is that each one of us is a debtor of thanksgiving. So much has been given to us and we have not returned gratitude. In fact, the history of our lives has been shaped by many different people to bring us here. God put those people in our lives and we are where we are now because of them.
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 ESV
Reasons to Give Thanks
Thanksgiving is crucial in our lives perfects the blessings that God has given to us. When we practice a thankful life perfect the blessings from God. As we acknowledge God's goodness, we are drawn closer to God. As we realize how much Jesus loves us, we want to love Him back.
And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."Luke 17:19 ESV
Living a thankful life allows us to preserve our blessings. As we understand how much God has given us, we take better care of our lives. We demonstrate our dependence on Him and as we demonstrate our dependence on God, God takes more care of us.
Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.Deuteronomy 8:17-18 ESV
There are three ways to lose a grateful heart. One, we lose a thankful life when we become complacent with our blessings. We feel entitled and this entitlement makes our hearts grow cold. Another way is when pride prevents from saying thankful. We believe it is beneath us to thank someone who we see as undeserving. Finally, materialism is another reason that causes us to lose our gratitude. The more we get, the more we want. The world will never satisfy and as soon as we are gratified, we want something new. All the more reason for the need to reflect on our lives and remember the source of our life and blessings and to be grateful.