I received a very thoughtful, unexpected, thank you gift from a friend a couple of weeks ago. It was greatly appreciated and so meaningful to me. I was surprised because so often we forget to show appreciation to others. More importantly, we forget to give thanks, even when it comes to our Heavenly Father. We are so quick to come to Him with our requests that we often forget to give thanks for what He has already done and for what He will do. There is a story in the Bible that speaks to this. It is the story of the ten lepers that Jesus healed:
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[a] 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.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19
It is so important for us to live a life of thanksgiving; not just a day or a season because our gratitude brings Glory to God. When we give Him thanks for Who He is and for our salvation, of which there is no greater gift, our entire perspective will change. We will no longer dwell on what we do not have or on our circumstances. We will not worry about provision. We will not focus on any illness, turmoil or loss. In our adversity, we will keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. We will focus on the goodness and mercy of the Lord that follows us all the days of our lives. We will focus on the gift of life, fully devoted to the One who gives it to us.
In a bible study on the book of Acts, the question was posed, how would you live if you knew that you could not lose? I believe I would live fearlessly, unashamedly and boldly sharing the good news, giving and serving cheerfully out of gratitude, living in full surrender and worship to our God. The truth of the matter is that we absolutely cannot lose. We know this because our faith in Christ assures us that He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). When Christ died on the cross and was raised from the dead, He conquered sin, death and the grave! Paul understood this when he said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” He went on to explain this further in Philippians chapter 1.
If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. Philippians 1:22-26
We have much work to do for the Kingdom! We have a rich reward in heaven waiting for us when the Lord brings us home. Until then, we may have to endure struggles, hardship, trials and possibly even persecution. Yet, we live for Him! We live set apart in this world, shining the light of Christ, loving others well as we walk in step with the Spirit. We live as if we have nothing to lose because we are in Christ and He is in us! There is nothing to fear I this world because His perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). We are His and He is ours! Let us live as if we cannot lose because we cannot! Thank You, Father!
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, Hebrews 12:28
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of life! Thank You for sending Your Son to die for our sins and give us new life to worship and honor you! I praise you and exalt Your Holy Name as Lord of Lords, King of Kings and the Giver of all gifts! Help us to remember that with you, we cannot lose. There is nothing to fear in this life. This world is not our home. We are citizens of heaven and our eternal home is guaranteed for us in Christ. Help us to love and serve well as unto you and not man. Help us to be cheerful givers of our time, talent and treasure. Help us to be thankful in all circumstances. We love you and give you all the praise and the glory in Jesus’ Mighty, Matchless Name, Amen and Amen!