Heartfelt Thanksgiving Luke 17:11-19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Thankfulness or the lack thereof will affect your relationship to God. Heartfelt thanksgiving not only affects God but it also affects you. Heartfelt thanksgiving to God is characterized by:
Returning to God – Lk 17:15 – the Samaritan leper turned back. In Lk 17:18 he returned to give glory to God. When Naaman was healed he returned to the man of God in 2 Ki 5:15. You don’t just receive and keep going like a spoiled child. You stop and turn to God and thank him. Thank you notes for gifts given to you are a way of you returning to the giver. You stop and turn to them, in a manner of speaking.
Lifting up your voice to God – Lk 17:15 – with a loud voice he glorified God. In other words, he was so thankful, he wasn’t ashamed for others to know it. In Acts 3:8-9 the lame man went into the temple and was noticeably praising God. When you look up the two words, “lift” and “voice” in your concordance they are typically connected with weeping. My word, we do plenty of that!! However, when David brought the ark to Jerusalem they lifted up their voices with joy [1 Chr 15:16]. Well, in church, we should lift up our voices because Jesus is here. The same thing happened when the ark was brought into the temple Solomon built [2 Chr 5:13].
Humbling yourself before God – Lk 17:16 – this leper fell down on his face. He was like Ruth in Ruth 2:10 who fell on her face and bowed herself before Boaz. She did that before a man; we should surely do the same before Jesus Christ. The altar in church is a great place for you to humble yourself before the Lord and thank him.
Giving glory to God – Lk 17:15-18 – that leper glorified God. Don’t think for a minute that God doesn’t notice. The nine were cleansed but the Samaritan was made whole [2 Ki 5:14]. In Rom 1:21, when they weren’t thankful, God wasn’t glorified and their foolish heart was darkened. They should have been thankful for Acts 17:25, 28 and for the free gift of salvation. The rest of Rom 1 shows you the horrible result of their ingratitude. God gave them up to uncleanness, vile affections and a reprobate mind.
When you study 2 Cor 9:8-14 with 2 Cor 4:15 you see this harmony of the grace of God, God’s sufficiency, our thanksgiving, and God’s glory. If you take out the thanksgiving, out goes the glory and, with it, so does the grace and sufficiency. God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. Just remember to thank him with heartfelt thanksgiving.
Conclusion: Express true, heartfelt thanksgiving to God for everything. Like this leper, return to give thanks to God, lift up your voice no matter who may see you do it, don’t be ashamed to humble yourself before the Lord, and give the glory to God!!