Summary: Ingratitude is perhaps the most frequent and one of the most grievous of all sins that a Christian can commit.
TAKE THE TIME TO GIVE THANKS
While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has made you well." Luke 17:11-19 NASB
The healing of the ten lepers is an all too vivid a picture of the world in which we live. Ten lepers cried out for mercy and our Lord heard their cry and healed them. In heeding the Lord’s instruction to “go and show yourselves to the priests” they were healed as they went. Nine of the ten continued on their way with no expression of gratitude. Only one returned to express thanks for the healing he had received.
The absence of the nine prompted Jesus to ask “But the nine---where are they?” Would our Lord’s question, asked nearly 2000 years ago, be a valid question today? I think we would all answer “Yes”. Ingratitude is perhaps the most frequent and one of the most grievous of all sins that a Christian can commit.
James 1:17 tells us “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Praise and thanksgiving should constantly fill our hearts and continually be voiced with our lips. We all recognize that there are many things for which we should thank God, but here are four things that easily top the list.
I. GIVE THANKS FOR LIFE ITSELF
From conception to death, life is a precious gift from God. When God summons the soul and the spirit from the body, all the money in the world will not buy anyone a single additional day of earthly existence.
James looks at our entire life and remarks as to its brevity. “Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14 (NKJV)
Job spoke of the swiftness which the days of his life seem to speed by. “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle.” Job 7:6 (NKJV). Many of us would agree with his description as to how our days seem to rush by.
II. GIVE THANKS FOR OUR SALVATION:
No one can buy, bargain or trade to obtain salvation. It is a priceless gift. Paul wrote
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
Peter expressed the same great truth in 1 Peter 1:19-20 when he made it clear that we are not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
III. GIVE THANKS FOR THE INDWELLING OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit provides guidance, comfort, strength, power and eternal security for every born-again believer. Does our Lord promise all this to His disciples? Well, let’s see what the Scriptures have to say.
Concerning guidance: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” John 16:13(NKJV)
Jesus spoke to His disciples saying “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 (NIV)
Concerning strength and power:
“[I pray] that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.” Ephesians 3:16 HCSB
Concerning eternal security:
“…having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13b-14 (NKJV)