The Grace of Gratitude

by Stephen F. Olford

Text: "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" (Luke 17:15-16, read verses 11-19).

Thoughts: Here is a story which poignantly sets in contrast base ingratitude against true gratitude. The lepers had come to Jesus with a desperate need. He had cured them, but nine of them never came back to give Him thanks. Think about:

Stephen Olford1. The Rarity of True Gratitude. "Jesus answered and said, ‘Were not there ten cleansed? But where are the nine?'" (v. 17). Nine out of ten were more ready to pray than to praise; and how true this is today! Invariably, we come to God like these lepers: more ready to get than to give. Only one stopped to say, "Thank you." Yes, the grace of gratitude is rare.

2. The Reality of True Gratitude."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" (vv. 15, 16). When true gratitude has mastered a believing soul, it expresses itself, first, by a genuine thoughtfulness. "He saw that he was healed." How thoughtless we are by nature! True gratitude is also expressed by a genuine thoroughness. He "returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks" (vv. 15, 16).

3. The Reward of True Gratitude. "Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? And [Jesus] said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well'" (vv. 18, 19). God always rewards a thankful heart. Not only did this Samaritan leper receive outward cleansing, but he was blessed with inner cleansing as well. Thrust: Thank you, Lord, for cleansing me, From my sin and shame; Thank you, Lord, for keeping me, Glory to your Name! Amen.