Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost: Quick to Pray but Slow to Praise
Today, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, I have a goal to put you in a special category, which you may not be in. My goal is to move you to a 10 percent category, because if I can get you there, I can get you some extra help on what God has already done for you.
How many want more miracles happening in their lives?
You can have that. And it is as simple as saying, “Thank You, God.”
In our Gospel reading for today we read about an amazing miracle and then an even more amazing response. Someone got more than what they asked for.
While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)
One of those who had leprosy, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough.
One leper said, “thank you” and something happened: he got more than he asked for.
Being grateful will separate you from the group. Not many people say thanks. From the cashier at Walgreens to the drive-through worker at Dairy Queen to the supervisor at work. The leper went from receiving healing to getting one more thing by just saying, “Thank You, Jesus.” Something happened physically and spiritually to him.
Ten lepers were healed—nine went on their way (90 percent); one returned with thanksgiving (10 percent). Which group are you in?
Sometimes we find ourselves being quick to pray but slow to praise. I want to help you get to that elite 10 percent. As we move you from the majority to the powerful minority, keep these words and phrases from our verses in mind:
Healed and saved
The realization is the wake-up call. God deserves your gratitude. One day you realize that what you received is not by accident and not by your own doing.
Jesus asked, “Where are the nine?” God was asking what He already knew the answer to. He says about us: Where are the nine whom I have given life to, provision to, healing to, a house to, breath to, health to, a vacation to, a job to, a child to? Have they thanked everyone but Me today?
One theologian wrote: “Only he who gives thanks for little things receives big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts.”
If you want to be part of the 10 percent, wake up to the realization that God deserves your thanks.
Go big with your thank yous. Author Gladys Bronwyn Stern said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” True gratitude is vocal and focused. Luke says that the leper was “glorifying God with a loud voice.” You realize not only who it came from, but you want others to know who the who is.
Gratitude goes the extra mile. Consider what this leper did:
He turned around.
He came back.
He kneeled at Jesus’s feet.
Poet George Herbert says it best: “Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing—a grateful heart!”
Healed and saved
“Thank You” gets God’s attention. And it makes God want to do more.
The leper was “healed and saved.” Nine got healed on the outside; one got healed both on the outside and on the inside. One “thank you” got him a lot extra.
Gratitude opens the door for you to get more than you asked for.
As one person had said: “You can’t be grateful for something you feel entitled to.” So let’s stop today and enter the elite 10 percent and thank God for all He has done.