Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, January 1, 2015
Based Upon Luke 17
Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have made it to the year 2015, by the grace of God. Who would have thought this earth would continue as it is so long? Who would have thought you would be here, or I? God has been so good to each of us, hasn’t He? With new years, come new hope, new vision, new mercies, and new resolve. What are your plans for 2015? Do you want to read the Bible through? Do you want to be a better spouse, friend, or child? Do you plan to travel or get that degree you’ve desired for years? Have you committed your plans to God for guidance in accomplishing them or abandoning them altogether as His providence may indicate? God’s plans for you in 2015 are the same as they have ever been—plans of peace and not of evil, until Jesus returns.
In our focus chapter we see a quick lesson of faith and gratitude, which should inform our manner of appreciation for the year. There were 10 lepers ostracized from society due to their contagion. Somehow, they were blessed to encounter Christ, and in a desperate cry, they all asked Him to have mercy upon them. Being the good God He is, He cleansed them all of their disease, according to their faith. However, only one of them, as he recognized that he was healed, immediately went back to Jesus to give thanks for His goodness and mercy toward him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus asked where the other men were who also were healed. And, according to His manifold grace, Jesus took his healing to another level. Jesus made the man whole!
It is safe to infer from the text, since Luke made a point to mention that this man was a Samaritan, that the others were Jews. Why did not those who were supposedly the people of God, immediately give thanks? Had they become so familiar with the God of their fathers that they failed to be impressed by His goodness? Had they become so blasé concerning His mercies, that once they received them, they immediately took Him for granted? Was the man who would have been twice outcast, once, because of his leprosy and twice, because he was a stranger to the faith, a stronger believer than those who purported faith? This is a sobering question with obvious implications. But, I would like us to glean this simple lesson to carry us through the new year God has given: We must never, ever become insensitive to the blessings of God. We must be ever thankful and show gratitude that He has accepted all who have faith in Him through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Live thanks in 2015, friends and be a blessing. Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready to meet Him in peace?