Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratitude - A Missing Attitude

Failure to give thanks is inexcusable. When we do not express gratitude, we are either not thankful or else we seemingly do no want to be bothered with the effort. Perhaps the best illustration of this is the biblical story of Jesus' healing the ten lepers.

"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, 'Jesus, Master, have pity on us!'When he saw them, he said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed" (Luke 17:11-14).

Leprosy was a terrible disease. Those who had it were forced to leave their homes and live in leper colonies. If, perchance, someone who had leprosy thought they had been healed, they were to go to the priests--the only ones authorized to pronounce them cured.

The instructions of Jesus involved a promise. Why go to the priests unless they were healed? The command indicated that if they went, they would be cured. Jesus put their faith to a test. He asked them to act as if they were healed. It is important to note that Scripture records, "As they went, they were cleansed." They did not wait until they were healed but began immediately in faith expecting to be found healed by the priest.

We applaud their faith and rejoice over this miracle. However, the sad note of this account is that only one of the ten returned to give his thanks. He showed his gratefulness and appreciation by glorifying God in a loud voice and falling down on his face before the Lord. Jesus accepted his gratitude, but in disappointment remarked, "Were there not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?"

Certainly, there were overjoyed to be healed of the dread disease so they could once again return to their families, homes and work. But in the midst of their blessing, they failed to make the effort to return and give thanks. How often we are guilty of this as well. Do we remember to say "thank you" when we sit down to eat, when others extend their help, or for life and its many blessings?

Jesus said to the one who came back to say thank you, "Rise and go, your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:19). Since the man was already healed of leprosy--what did the Lord mean by this statement? Jesus was referring to a spiritual cleansing from sin that comes through confession of faith. The Bible states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith..." (Ephesians 2:8).

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