Monday, September 5, 2011

Thanksgiving = Faith?

Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

I came across this during one of my readings. You can find the story in Luke 17:11-19.  Just a few paragraphs describing the event, yet for those men, a life changing experience! Of course any encounter with Jesus, either back then or now, is life changing!

The story goes that as Jesus was passing through a certain village, ten lepers screamed to him to heal them. I find it interesting that instead of laying hands on them or telling them okay, you're healed! Jesus simply told them to go show themselves to the priests.  By Jewish law anyone with a contagious disease had to go to the priest in order to be pronounced clean. So, in essence, Jesus gave them a command.

They didn't complain and question him and get angry (at least that we know). Instead they obeyed.. and they were healed as they headed toward the temple.  I think Jesus was testing them, as He often tests us. We want Him to do something for us.. but are we willing to obey Him? How committed to Him are we? Will we abandon Him after we get what we want?

Yet, the story continues. One of the men came back to Jesus, fell at his feet, worshiped Him and thanked Him. Only one. And Jesus says something really odd. After pointing out that the other nine men had not returned to thank Him, He tells the man that his faith has made him well. What faith? He obeyed Jesus. He thanked Him and worshiped Him, but I didn't see any blatant acts of faith. 

That's when I realized that thanksgiving and worshp are faith. They can't exist without faith. In fact, they are the deepest expression of faith. The man understood who Jesus was and what He had done for Him. And he expressed that by thanking Him, by worshiping Jesus. If the man hadn't believed Jesus was the one who healed him, if he hadn't believed Jesus was God, he wouldn't have bothered to return and express his faith by bowing at his feet.

What happened to the other nine men? Scripture doesn't tell us. But I have a feeling that maybe, just maybe, they got leprosy again. Not because Jesus didn't want them to be healed or He wasn't powerful enough to heal them, but because they had no faith.

Do you sometimes feel like your faith is weak? Is your mind often flooded with doubts? Have you been asking God for something for a long time and it just never seems to happen? Me too! It's normal. It's part of the Christian walk.  We all struggle in this way. But, I'm here to tell you from my own first hand experience, that if you maintain a constant attitude of thankfulness, if you spend more time during your day thanking God than asking Him for something, not only will your faith grow, but start to see different ways God is working in your life and in your cirumstances!

Practice thankfullness. As you walk through your day, talk to God. Thank Him for the sunshine or the rain. Thank Him for the flowers, the cool breeze, good food, a phone call from a friend, a compliment someone pays you...whatever is good in your life, thank Him for it.  It pleases Him greatly and it will change your entire outlook!


  1. Monday, Sept 5th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Excellent message today .... "Thanksgiving = Faith" ! How often are we like 'little children' ... always asking, always wanting something of our Heavenly Father.
    A true spirit of -- gratefulness, thankfulness, and sincere appreciation ... is sadly lacking in our World today.
    I have learned, and, am STILL learning daily ... that everything I am, everything I have ... everything ... is because of His great goodness and love !
    Trying to make it a "daily habit" ... to just "thank the Lord" ... throughout each day (as often as it comes to mind) ... for all that He is, all that He has done, and all that I am (and have) ... "because of Him". Yes, a great test of our faith ... is to be and show thankfulness, toward our God !!!
    Said it before, and I'll say it again: "God IS good, ALL the time, NO matter what" !!!
    We DO have SO very much to be thankful for .... let us NEVER forget that !!!
    And, "thank-you, MaryLu", for the reminder !!!
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Hey MaryLu!
    I completely agree. This is also another of my favorites. I always thought the others who didn't thank him got leprosy again but who knows?
    Awesome message, thank you!
    -Rebekah xD

  3. Great post, MaryLu. I always wondered about the others, too. Maybe Jesus healed them for the 'future' faith of others that come across their paths. The man who returned was healed by his own faith.(maybe a personal acknowledgment?) God performs miracles every day using unsuspected people as His tools. Some may have faith and others simply get used for His purpose. I personally want to have the faith and not just be 'used'. Thanks for the great devotion and reminder to keep in constant communication with God. Have a great week! :)

  4. Wonderful post, MaryLu!! And I love the new layout! This reminds me of Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Those rewards may not be what we normally would consider rewards, or what the world considers rewards, but we have eternal rewards, which far surpasses anything this world can offer! I hope you have a wonderful week!!

  5. Awesome post - I'd never thought about it that way before.

    I *LOVE* the new look of the blog, btw! :-)

  6. Mon Sept 5th,
    P.S. MaryLu -- meant to ask you ... How is the book-writing coming along, with your deadline date of Sept 9th, quickly approaching ? Just wondering ...
    Okey-dokey ... Hope all is well.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  7. Hi ladies, thanks for all your comments! Glad the post blessed you in some way. I love that verse in Hebrews, Emma. Thank you for reminding me.
    Brenda, yes, it seems there is a serious lack of thankfulness in this present culture and more an attitude of "I deserve"
    Yes, I want to have faith and not be used too, Debbie!
    Thanks Rebekah, I guess we won't know what happened to the others until we get to heaven! So much I want to find out when I get there!
    Glad you like the blog, Sapphire! me too!
    And Brenda, I'm on target for Sept 9th.. in fact, I may turn it in tomorrow or Wed. Just have a few minor things to finish! Thanks for asking!

  8. Mon Sept 5th,
    Great work, once again .... MaryLu !!! That's terrific news ... bet you're feeling good about the book being basically finished ! Way to go !!!
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  9. Hi MaryLu! I awarded your blog the 'One Lovely Blog' award! Visit Christian Bookshelf Reviews to claim it!