Theme of the Week: New Beginnings
Bible Verse: [G]ive thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
Scripture Reading: Psalm 9:1–2; Psalm 118:1; Luke 17:11–19; Colossians 3:15–17; 1 Timothy 2:1–2
Giving thanks is sort of prayer’s spiritual discipline twin. As you read the New Testament regarding prayer, they almost always include an admonishment to give thanks. God wants us to learn to ask while we also learn to be grateful and give thanks. God wants this balance of prayer and praise in our lives.
In Luke 17 Jesus healed ten lepers. As Jesus was passing through a village, a group of lepers started calling out to Him for mercy. Jesus granted their request and sent them on their way—all cleansed and healed! They got exactly what they asked for. But this is where it gets curious…only one leper turned back, praised God with a loud voice, threw himself at the feet of Jesus, and thanked Him. Then Jesus said these famous words, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”.
Here, we are reminded that Jesus can count. Jesus gave these men their lives back by miraculously healing them, yet ninety percent of them didn’t think a thank you was necessary. Jesus is still counting today. While He wants us to ask Him for help today, He also wants us to acknowledge what He did for us yesterday. Jesus wants us to be grateful for the mercy we receive. People who pray should also be people who praise. The two go together.
Becoming thankful is a spiritual discipline. Notice how Jesus did not make the lepers thankful, they had do that on their own. One grateful former leper turned back and praised God…got loud…and thanked Jesus.
Don’t let gratitude be just a matter of the heart or mind. Go all in and show and say how thankful you are. Never be embarrassed about the good things God does in your life. This will take discipline because it’s easier to be unappreciative—with people and even with God. Don’t be low-key with God. Be one out of ten—learn to turn back and praise Jesus. It’s a beautiful spiritual habit to build into your life.
Prayer: Father, I give you praise and thanksgiving today. I am grateful for what you have done for me in the past and for what you are doing for me even now that I am not aware of. I have decided to become a thankful person and acknowledge your blessings in the days ahead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflection: Ask yourself some tough questions about your attitude when people or God bless you. Is it difficult for you to show gratitude or say words of praise? Part of the discipline of becoming thankful is getting over yourself and realizing your words of thanks is for the other person, and not about you. Give thanks enough times, on purpose, and you will start an amazing new habit.
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