Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I've Got Peace Like A River"1 (Lyrics)
Acts 20:35b – It is more blessed to give than to receive. (NKJV)
This past Christmas, I became more and more aware of the commercialism of the season. We were talking to one family in which everybody buys a present for everybody in the family. Certainly, there are financial constraints arising from buying for a great number of people. In some cases, we just don't know what to get anymore. Yet, it is through habit, expectation, or pressure, perhaps, that many people rush around trying to find something for those they want to or feel obligated to buy something for. That made me wonder: Are all these presents really appreciated?
A young man whom we know well is the manager of a small company which repairs and coats the inside of industrial water tanks. There are four employees who do this work. They have to travel long distances; the work is hard and demanding; they work under difficult conditions much of the time; and their efforts are appreciated by management. At Christmastime, they received a Christmas bonus, and he put a $50 gift card paid for out of his own money in with the card and the company gift. He told us that only one of the employees came back to thank him, and he was rather sad about it.
Luke 17:11-19 – Now it happened as [Jesus] went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well." (NKJV)
It seems so hard for some people to say "thank you" for gifts that they receive or for things which may be done for them.
From the ten people that Jesus healed, only one came back to thank Him. I think that Jesus must have been sad. Let us not fail to express our thanks to those around us and to the Lord for the good things that we have in our lives here and now.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we are so thankful that Jesus came to live among us, that He taught and preached and healed, and that He died on the cross for our sins and rose to prepare a place for us in His kingdom. We thank You in His name. Amen.