Focal Passage: Psalm 65:11-13
I wonder how he would answer that question? Imagine you getting a test paper back from your teacher and written in red marker on the top right corner is a 10 percent. I’m sure that gives some of you straight A students anxiety just thinking about it. Even for the friend I mentioned earlier, a 10 percent on a test would be a disaster.
Now, I encourage you to read Luke 17:11-19. Jesus healed ten lepers, only one returned to Him and gave Him thanks. If we were to grade the guys in this story, they’d get a 10 percent. Even while the vast majority did not come straight back to Jesus, that was His expectation.
When the one cleansed leper returned Jesus said, “Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the nine? (v. 17). This passage reveals that it is the Lord’s expectation that we give Him thanks. This story also shows us something important about us. We can often neglect the gift-giver for the sake of the gift.
Let’s not be too hard on the nine men who Jesus healed that didn’t return. They had a terminal illness that would have kept them from their families and made them societal outcasts. In all honesty, I might be so overjoyed at the gift of healing that I’d forget to express gratitude to the one who granted the gift to me. We must be intentional about thanksgiving (the act and the holiday). Psalm 65 is a passage that can help. This text helps us in many ways, I’ll point out three.
First, it emphasizes God’s worthiness. Verse 1 begins this way, “Praise is due to you, O God.” Expressing thanks to God should not be seen as some blessed bonus or ecclesiastical extracurricular activity. Receiving praise is His expectation. Notice that we read of God’s worthiness before any of His deeds are discussed. Even if God didn’t abundantly bless us He’d be due praise simply because He is God.
Second, we are reminded that our salvation provides a firm foundation for thanksgiving. Verse 5 tells us that the Lords is, the “God of our salvation.” A true understanding of grace should make gratitude automatic. God authored our salvation, we did not (Hebrews 12:2). We did nothing to earn forgiveness, adoption, and redemption. These gifts were lavished upon us through the overflow of God’s goodness through Christ. Starting our praise at our salvation and counting our blessings from there, establishes in our minds the truth we find in James 1:17. Every good gift is from God.
Third, it reveals God’s heart to bless us. Lean into the picture that is painted in Psalms 65:12. Imagine you’re walking through an isolated forest and stumble upon a beautiful field of lush green grass swaying in the breeze. God has seen fit to grow “the pastures of the wilderness” in brilliant beauty. If God grows a gorgeous field in the middle of nowhere with intentionality, how much more is He interested in expressing His power through the blessings He provides us?
In whatever gifts you behold in the coming days. Whether your table overflows or not, don’t forget the gift-giver. B&R