Have you ever pondered the words, “Thank you”? The one who utters these words expresses gratefulness to someone else for some act of kindness. Saying “thank you” is polite. It requires a measure of humbleness on the part of the one who gives it and ascribes worth to the one who receives it. Also, giving thanks must be a voluntary action. We cannot demand thanks from someone who fails to give it or doesn’t wish to. Giving thanks must come from the heart.
In Luke’s Gospel, he records an incident in which Jesus healed ten leprous men who come to Him for healing. He healed them, but of the ten, only one man returned to thank Him. To be healed from leprosy was a big deal, not only affecting their physical wellbeing, but their social, economic, and spiritual health as well. In short, Jesus gave these ten men a new life.
Why did only one return to give thanks? Perhaps the other nine were simply so excited that giving thanks slipped their minds. Hopefully, it wasn’t an entitlement mentality that prevented them from giving thanks because they thought they deserved to be healed. In the case of the healed man who returned, the passage says, “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him.” (Luke 17:15-16) This man felt an overwhelming compulsion to praise and worship God, giving thanks to Jesus for what He had done. Whenever we become aware of who God is and what He has done for us, we too are compelled to thank and praise Him.
Thanking God is an act of worship. We can thank Him for who He is: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34) And, “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.” (Psalm 7:17) And we can thank Him for what He has done: “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1) And, “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57) The Apostle Paul urges us to, “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20) May all our prayers and thoughts toward God be filled with thanksgiving!
Scripture Reading: Psalm 136
Personal Application: Each week on day seven of this devotional, we ask you to spend time thanking God. Thanksgiving should come naturally to us when we contemplate who God is and all He has done for us! Why is it appropriate to thank God in every circumstance? (See 1 Thessalonians 5:18.) What would you like to especially thank Him for right now?
Wendell Morton and Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5