Learning to Be Content-November 18, 2012
Scripture: Luke 17:11-19, Philippians 4:6-20
In Luke’s gospel we find the story of the Ten Lepers Cleansed. As Jesus entered the town the cried out to Him asking for mercy, and Jesus instructs them to “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” On the way to the priest who was the one who had to pronounce them clean, they were healed. When one of these saw that he was healed he turned back glorifying God and fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and giving thanks.
By this point in time in Luke’s gospel we know that Jesus is God’s Son and He has power to work miracles and is a healer. Given this knowledge it is not surprising that all the men were healed to me perhaps the surprising part is that only one came back to give thanks to Jesus. If you think of the people in Jesus’ time and even today there are so many that forget the blessings of God. In America we begin to think we are entitled and move further away from God. Our churches are beginning to understand this as fewer and fewer come to church on a regular basis. There may be far too many distractions, but even good distractions that take us away from God’s glory are harmful.
Jesus asks if the others were also healed, already knowing the answer, asks where are the other nine? It may be easy to ask where the others are, but we must first remember the mercy of God upon us and give Him thanks and glory. The only one the Samaritan could speak for was Himself, and the testimony of His act of obedience is recorded in scripture for all eternity. Examine your heart and find each day there is much to be thankful for.
The Pharisees begin to question Jesus about when the kingdom of God was coming. Jesus responds that it is not coming with visible signs, nor will it be in this place or that. For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst. Jesus is speaking not of a physical reality as much as a spiritual one. It requires faith to understand the kingdom of God.
Glory and thanksgiving to our God for the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. The kingdom is among us.
Paul’s words to the church at Philippi are to be anxious for nothing. Trust God, pray, and give thanks. Thanksgiving comes before the miracle. God will then give us peace in our lives, not necessarily a changed situation. Paul reminds the church to let our minds dwell on worthy things. Now live it out in the presence of others.
Paul then says that he has learned to be content in whatever circumstances. He lists the some of those circumstances, but I am drawn to his prayers concerning the “thorn in the flesh” after three times the Lord reminded Paul that His grace was sufficient, and that in our weakness God’s strength is perfect. A daily reminder of the sufficient grace of Christ should bring all of us to a more thankful heart. Will you then give thanks always and glorify God or will you be like the nine? Will you be the one? Learning contentment is the key to having a thankful heart.