Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thank God Through Worship

The Grateful Living: Part 5

In Luke 17:11-19 we read about an encounter Jesus had with 10 lepers. The lepers wanted Jesus to show compassion on them and help them in some way. The way Jesus helped them was to heal them of their disease. The nine Jewish lepers went to the priest to be declared clean, but the lone Samaritan came back to worship Jesus and say thank you. While the nine did a good thing it was the one who did the best thing.

Mark Moore in his study on the life of Christ wrote:
“Now, the nine are doing just what they were told. They are obeying Jesus as well as the Law. They are doing what is right. However, the Samaritan is doing what is better. That’s a tough distinction for Christians as well. Often we are motivated to do what is right, to obey, and to fulfill God’s laws. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but the ‘better” is to worship Jesus. Again, we see the distinction between ritual and relationship. It is possible to do all the right things and still miss Jesus” (The Chronological Life of Christ: From Galilee to Glory, pg. 96).

Worshipping out of gratitude will help us, not only do the right things, but to connect with Jesus as well. The best is to worship.

It is interesting to note that the Jews never had a documented case of leprosy being healed, cured, without the direct action of God. So for Jesus to heal these lepers it means, at the very least, that He is a prophet from God. Only God can cure leprosy, no one else could.

One more interesting thing to note from this event in the life of Jesus is that Jesus not only heals the lepers, but He, being the great High Priest, also declares the man clean. “Your faith had made you well” (verse 19). The Samaritan didn’t need a priest declaration, for the true and everlasting High Priest had declared him clean. Another reason for the man to praise God.

God has blessed us so very much, and the greatest blessing He has given us is eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If God never gave us any other blessing other than this it is enough to eternally worship Him. This blessing is so much greater than being cured of leprosy and being restored to the community and your family. Salvation is being restored to a relationship with our Creator, a relationship that cannot be severed or destroyed what a great and awesome gift this is.

This is the truth I want you to take with you this morning: Our gratitude for God is best expressed through worship. Not just singing a few hymns on Sunday morning, but our everyday living for Him. Not just acts of obedience, but prayers of thanksgiving, songs of praise, deeds of compassion, and using our blessing to be a blessing to others. That is when we do what is best in the eyes of God.

  • Point to Ponder: Our gratitude for God is best expressed through worship.
  • Passage to Remember: Luke 17:19
  • Question to Consider: How do you thank God for what He has done?

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