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Expressing deep gratitude and appreciation to people and to God.

Devotional Thought

Read Luke 17:11-19.

Ten lepers approached Jesus pleading for His mercy and healing touch. Jesus responded to their cry and healed them. Only one leper returned to Jesus to thank Him. Is this surprising? Not at all. Every day things happen to us which make us grateful and appreciative, yet we do not express our thankfulness. Several years ago, I learned this was true. I sent a complimentary book to over 500 people, and less than 10% of these acknowledged the gift. Because of this experience, I have a greater understanding of the importance of being thankful. Since that time, I have made it a point to express my thankfulness whenever I am blessed.

It would be easy to thank God for something which might save your life, but God expects His people to be thankful in all circumstances, for only He knows the beginning and the end. We need to express our genuine gratitude to God for His mercy, His abundance and His protection. We need to count our blessings and name them one by one. God has been so faithful and good to His children.

In the same way, we need to be thankful for acts of kindness and generosity that we receive from others. Aggressively respond with a thankful spirit when people bless and encourage you. You can never overuse the words, "Thank You." A lack of thankfulness can easily draw negative conclusions. You can actually wound people by withholding your thanks. Let others know how much you appreciate them. What a winning difference your words can make!!

The Apostle Paul recorded these words in Philemon 4-7 when he wrote his dear friend. Read his words of thankfulness along with the corresponding results. "I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints." Being thankful served a great purpose, especially for Onesimus (See Philemon 10-21).