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April 26, 2017
Inspirational Message
by Paul Kraker, Creative Arts Pastor

“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him — and he was a Samaritan.” Luke 17:15-16 (NIV)

I recently spent a wonderful day with my son, Jake, at a wrestling tournament in Columbus. Now many may think—ugh! Four hours of driving, nine hours of standing and walking around waiting for three matches that totaled ten minutes of mat time! But I was overwhelmed with the goodness of God. Jake will soon be driving and you know what that means. Not too many days left with just him and me. So I thanked God for blessing me with such an awesome son and the opportunity to have a thirteen-hour day with him!

I was reminded that being thankful does not mean we are appreciative for life going well—but really just being glad we are benefiting from God’s goodness.

I believe the Scriptures teach us that being truly thankful requires looking beyond our blessings to the One who blesses. It’s about being full of gratitude for Christ, not just being full of thanks for what He has given us.

For example, In Luke 17:11-19, we read a story about a man who saw past the blessing and focused on Jesus. It’s the story of when Jesus had compassion for ten lepers on the roadside, and healed each one of them … but only one returned to say, “thank you.”

Only one healed leper recognized that not only was his body healed, but also his soul. Only one man was so overwhelmed and full of thankfulness, that he took the time to say thanks.

As I remembered this passage, I had to ask myself a hard question: Why do I not notice the goodness of God all around me on a daily basis?

So, I’m starting a new habit. Each day when I wake up I will thank the Lord for another day, ask Him to help me walk with Him and thank Him for being a God who blesses.

I’m sure each day I’ll be able to find one reason to say thank you and remember the God who treats me better than I deserve.