We should always give our best

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 3, 2005

Do you remember the story of the ten lepers? Jesus healed them of their leprosy and immediately they went on their way rejoicing in their healing. Astounded, He stood there as only one returned to say a simple Thank You.

We look at that story and wonder how in the world someone could be so cold, so calloused, so unappreciative. After all, leprosy of all things is one of the most hideous diseases known to man. How could someone not be grateful for being freed from such a disease? This story has been the subject of many a sermon, Bible class lesson and bulletin article. It stuns the mind how someone could be so ungrateful. But what about us?

We have been given a cleansing that is more exciting and more wonderful than these lepers every received. We have been given the freedom and cleansing from all our sin. Not only that, but we have been clothed with God’s righteousness. Our sins are not even imputed to us. God doesn’t even charge us when we walk in Him.

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God took notice of the nine who walked away ungrateful. Obviously they were happy about their cleansing. It is obvious that they wanted to rush back to their families and tell them the good news of what happened, but they were ungrateful because they left the Lord out of all of it. The very one who should have received the first thank you and the first expression of praise, was the one who got nothing. The nine were so selfish that they would not give back to the Lord something as simple as a Thank You.

Come to think of it, what do we actually do to thank God for what He is doing and has done for us? Are we satisfied to sit in church a few moments a week and call that gratitude? Do we really believe that God is pleased with what we give back? Do we think that the few dollars we contribute when the collection plate comes around shouts back to heaven our deep gratitude for what He has done for us? Can we sing enough songs during an assembly to really lift up to God what we really feel? Perhaps the real question, “Do we REALLY feel grateful?”

All of these things are important. It would be unbiblical to say less. It is important to know, however, that God gets His greatest THANK YOU when it goes through the life of another. When we stop and help the struggling ones in life get their lives back together, God smells that sacrifice as it comes up before Him as an odor of a sweet smell. He is pleased! When we provide a shoulder for someone to cry on when their life seems so empty and vain, God is praised. When we accept others, even though we know there are improvements they could make in their lives, recognizing all the time that we too need improvement, God smiles.

Do you want to make God happy? Do you want to make Him glad He saved the undeserving sinner you were? Sure you do! Listen to the words of the apostle Paul, “…Present your bodies a living sacrifice…”

God is a God who ordains praise. If we are here to give Him our best, how can our best be given without giving it through others? We are the reflection of Christ. Simply ask, “What would Jesus do?”

God Bless and GOOOOO DAWGS,

Marshall Murphy – Pastor, First Christian Church of Demopolis