Bible Reading: Luke 17:1-19
When was the last time…that you stopped dead in your tracks…and thanked the Lord for all that you have? Don’t think that you’ve got anything to be thankful for? Read the following…
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Okay, I’m going to need for you to use your imagination for a few minutes. Let’s imagine that in the whole world there only 100 people…and you are one of them. Think about these things.
- If you make $10,000 a year, you and 1 other person are the two richest people in the world. That would mean that you live on a little more than $27 per day. Almost half the people in the world (around 50) live on less than $2 per day.
- If you make $50,000 or more a year, you are the richest person in the world.
- If you have enough food, decent clothes, live in a house or apartment, and have a pretty good means of transportation, you are one of the 2 richest people in the world.
- If you own a car…then you are 1 of the 10 people in the world who own a car.
- If you have any money saved, a hobby that requires some equipment or supplies, extra clothes in your closet, two cars (in any condition), and live in your own home, you are the richest person in the world.
- If you can turn a light on in your home with a switch on the wall, can buy food at a grocery store (and don’t have to grow it and harvest it, yourself), have a cell phone, can go to the bathroom inside your house (and can flush the toilet), have hot and cold water coming out of the faucet, have a refrigerator, wear clothes that you bought (and didn’t have to make yourself, or kill an animal to get)…then you are super rich.
- If you can bake a cake, or cook a hamburger with electricity that comes to your home through a wire (and you don’t have to chop down a tree, cut it into small pieces, carry it into your home, start a fire, and then carry off the ashes), then you really are rich.
- Do you know what our biggest health problem is here in America? People eat too much and they are overweight.
- And stuff. We’ve got so much stuff, and extra stuff, that there are storage facilities where we can put all of our stuff that we’re not even using. In some countries, a person can put everything they own in a cart that they pull around behind them.
Wow. And listen to some of the ways that Americans spend all of our money…
- we spend $705 billion per year on entertainment and recreation
- we spend $65 billion per year on jewelry
- we spend $31 billion per year on pets
- we spend $13 billion per year on cosmetic surgery
- teenagers (ages 12-17) spend $179 billion per year.
So, what’s my point? We are so blessed. We have so much. But sometimes it just seems like we’re never satisfied. We always want more. We want what we don’t have. We want what someone else has. And to top it off…we are so ungrateful. We are not thankful for what we have.
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. Remember, He wasn’t riding in a car…but was probably walking. All of a sudden, 10 lepers called out to Him. They were standing some distance away because the law said that if they got too close to other people…then those people could throw rocks at them to chase them away. Some types of leprosy are very contagious. Some types of leprosy are deadly. So, lepers are not allowed to get close to people who don’t have the disease. It is a terrible disease. It totally ruins your life. They begged Jesus to heal them. He told them to go show themselves to the priests. The priests were the government officials that determined if someone had leprosy…or, if they had been healed of leprosy. Now, this is the interesting part. They had not been healed…yet. Jesus just told them to go. Well, they believed that whatever Jesus said to do…they needed to do. So, they turned around and headed for the priest. But something happened. As they started down the road…they were healed. Their leprosy was gone. Nine of them kept going. But one of them did something special. He turned around and came back to Jesus…and thanked Him. Jesus was both pleased and surprised. He was pleased because it is always good to be thankful, grateful. He was surprised because the man was a Samaritan. You remember them. Generally, Jews and Samaritans don’t get along. But this Samaritan knew the right thing to do. And he went back and told Jesus how much he appreciated what He had done for him. Jesus asked where the other 9 were. You see, they were Jews and they should have given thanks, as well. But, they didn’t. Jesus told the man that he had done the right thing and that his faith had made him well. I think that he was talking about more than just the leprosy. I think that no only was the man healed physically…but, that he was healed in his heart as well. His emotions, his feelings…his faith…were also healed. He truly was a new man. That’s what gratefulness does. It changes us. It helps us to see things the way that God sees them.
I have to be honest. Sometimes, days will go by…and I give very little thought to all that I have. The home that Grandma and I live in. Our cars. The food that we eat. The clothes that we wear. My list could go on, and on. We have so much. Compared to most of the people in the world…we are very rich. God has blessed us sooooo much! I should stop and thank Him. I should tell Him how much I appreciate all that He has given me. When I do that…then God helps me to see things that way that He sees them. To know what is really important. To know what I really need…and really don’t need. And God does something else in my heart. He encourages me to help others. To help those people who don’t have as much as I have. I should be like that leper. To take a minute in my busy day and stop. To turn around towards Jesus and say, “Thank You, Lord. Thank You for all that You have done for me. Thank You for all that You have given me.” Interesting, isn’t it? That we can learn a lesson from a leper. We can learn a lesson about thankful in life…from a man who had nothing in life to be thankful for…except Jesus.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,