November 23, 2022 — Thinking about Thanksgiving — Returning to the Source

“Earlier this morning,” Stan commented, “I was reading in Luke’s gospel and I was struck by how often I’m like one of the nine lepers.”

“Like one of the nine lepers?” I replied. “Why? Aren’t you feeling well?”

“Oh, I’m fine,” Stan replied with a laugh. “At least I’m fine from the physical health standpoint. But too often I’m not so fine from the thanksgiving side of things.”

“The thanksgiving side of things? How so?”

“Quick recap of what was going on according to Luke’s gospel,” Stan said. “Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. Ten lepers in a particular village asked Jesus to heal them. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests. As they were going to do that, they all were healed.”

“Healed just by obeying Jesus?”

“That’s what it says,” Stan replied. “But that’s not the important part.”

“What is?” I asked.

“Of the ten lepers who were healed,” Stan replied, “only one came back to thank Jesus.”

“Really?” I said. “Only one of the ten bothered to thank Jesus?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “And way too often I’m just like those nine guys.”

“In what way are you just like them?”

I’m so happy with the blessings that God pours out on me, I focus on the blessings rather than going and thanking the source of those blessings.”

“Oh,” I replied. “I see what you mean. Don’t just go on my way enjoying the blessings, but go back and express my thanksgiving to the source of everything for which I have to be thankful.”

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Bible verses to consider:

And it came about while He was on the way to Jerusalem, that He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten leprous men, who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” And when He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And it came about as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine — where are they? Luke 17:11-17.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have given to me: life eternally with you when it’s time, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity. You bless me in so many ways, but too often I don’t thank you the way I should. Instead of focusing on you as the source of all of my blessings, I focus on the blessings. Please forgive that foolishness. And please, Father, help me follow every step of your lead so I am truly thankful and express my thanksgiving for all you provide. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Are you able to thank God for His provision of life eternally with Him when it’s time because you have accepted His free and gracious provision? If you cannot thank Him for that, why have you not accepted what He offers? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how about your thanksgiving for all you have on both sides of eternity? Is God the focus of your thanksgiving for all you have, or do you tend to focus more on the blessings themselves? If you sense the need for change in how you view and express your thanksgiving, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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