Posted by: pastortomvabeach | November 24, 2015

Thought for the Week November 29, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving,

On Sunday I shared a story about Ned Spencer, who personally saved 17 people from drowning in 1860 after their steamer in Lake Michigan broke apart. When he died around 60 years later, his death notice said not one of the 17 ever came back to thank him. I wonder what may have prevented them from doing something that would take so little effort especially when this man’s effort had the effect of ruining his health for the rest of his life.

Were they too busy to take the time to find him and thank him? Could it be that they simply forgot to look him up when they fully intended to do so? But how do you forget that someone saved your life? Is it possible that they didn’t know who it was that saved them? I guess that is so, but how much effort would it have taken to contact the authorities, the newspapers, the owners of the steamer, other passengers, etc., to find out who that wonderful man was that saved everyone’s lives? Maybe they lived in another town or state. In 1860, it would have been more difficult to travel a long distance. That I might understand, but they did have postal mail in those days. Surely someone could have at least sent a “thank you” letter.

Luke’s gospel records a similar instance in Jesus’ ministry: As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:11-18).

Notice that Jesus does not say, no one else came back to thank ME. He equated giving thanks to giving God glory. In this case I can’t think of any good reason that all ten didn’t come back to thank Jesus and consequently give God glory.

Thanksgiving Day was instituted in the United States to remind us all that we owe everything we have, everything we are, every opportunity, every breath, to the Lord who is our God and Savior. It’s good that we take time to do that but let’s purpose that this not be a once-a-year activity that only happens when we are reminded by a holiday. Let’s make it our practice to begin and end every day thanking God, praising God, and giving God glory. After all, if we believe in Jesus, He saved more than our life here on earth! Just a thought to make your Thanksgiving a good one. God bless you all.

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