Daily Devotional

Thankful Worship

by Simon Whitton

12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him.  They stood at a distance
13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests."  And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him-- and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed?   Where are the other nine?
18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

Luke 17:12-19 (NIV)

The one leper came back to Jesus, praising God loudly, from the moment he saw he was healed.  It's possible the other nine were focused on obeying Jesus and fulfilling the Levitical law, which required Israelites with skin diseases to be examined by a priest and declared 'clean' before they could return to the general population.  Jesus was typically disdainful of legalism and disappointed that only one foreigner held thanks and praise to God as more important than the ritual law.

As this one foreigner returned to the Lord he worshipped, and by throwing himself at His feet he acknowledged the Lord as greater than any priest.  Jesus responded by fulfilling the priestly duty, telling him he could go, he was made well.  The one leper had left the crowd that went on its way, and allowed his passion for God to guide him.  He responded to God with immediate thanks and praise, like many of the faithful before him.

As soon as Abraham's servant found a wife for Isaac he worshipped God, because his prayer had been answered.  After Joseph had promised to bury Jacob with his fathers, Jacob leaned on his staff and worshipped God.  When the Hebrew slaves heard that the Lord was concerned about them, they worshipped Him.  When the Lord passed in front of Moses, he immediately bowed to the ground and worshipped.  When Gideon heard about a prophetic dream from the Lord, he worshipped God.  After King Nebuchadnezzar's sanity was restored he praised the Most High.  When Daniel's prayer to reveal the dream of the king was answered, he thanked and praised the God of his fathers.  When David's son Solomon was confirmed as his successor, David worshipped God on his bed.

As we walk through life there are many reasons for us to thank and worship God.  It could be an answered prayer, or that the Lord has provided for you. Perhaps God has convicted you of something, or spoken to you in a dream; or maybe He has revealed some truth to you through His word or shown you something.  He may have even delivered you in some way or healed you.

Whatever the prompting, let's not just go on with our task-oriented lives and put off worship until the next Sunday morning. Instead, let's immediately thank and worship the Lord, acknowledging His presence in our lives.  Let's honor Him by putting thanks and worship before other things that seem important; even if it means turning and walking in a different direction, or leaving the crowd to find the Lord again.

Spend some time in prayer, and ask the Lord to forgive you for those times that you have not thanked and worshipped Him.  Pray that you would be like the one who puts his relationship with God above all else.  Think of something that you should thank and worship the Lord for...

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