Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance  13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him–and he was a Samaritan.  17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Luke 17:15 (NIV)

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.

DEVOTION – Gina Bylsma (California)

Whenever I hear the story of the 10 lepers, I am amazed that only one came to thank Jesus.  After all, Jesus had given then their lives back.  They had been encumbered by a horrible skin disease, which made them outcasts.  Jesus’ response allowed them to be reunited with their families and to be part of their community again.  Jesus gave them life.  What a gift!  But only one returned to say thank you.

I can easily point a finger at the lepers who didn’t return; I can ask, “How could they be so ungrateful?”  Yet, reflecting on my own life, I know I must appear as the nine, so intent on the false importance of my busyness that I forget to give thanks to God.  I too have been delivered from a horrible disease – sin – that would have left me an outcast just like those lepers.  I would have been doomed to die alone, were it not for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Salvation is worthy of continuous thanks and gratitude, but God goes further and heaps blessing upon blessing on us.  I have resolved to give thanks, not only in my prayers of gratitude but also in the way I live.  Living with thankful spirits helps us to better witness to what God has done for us.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We show our thanks to God by the way we live.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, Jesus, thank you for delivering us and for giving us life.  Help us to live each day with thankful hearts and grateful spirits so that we may witness to your amazing grace.  Amen.