Jesus, traveling to Jerusalem along the border of Galilee and Samaria, meets upon ten men with leprosy. They call to Him from a distance…

“Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”Luke 17:13

Instead of reaching out and healing them, as Jesus so often did, He tells them to go directly to the priests. For the priests were the only ones who could declare a leper clean.

Miraculously, as the lepers walk along, they are cleansed of their disease. One, a Samaritan, comes back praising God for his healing. He throws himself down at the feet of Jesus, thanking Him abundantly for this miracle in his life. Jesus asks…

“Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”Luke 17:17-18

Only the one leper had returned to express his deep gratitude. Jesus commends him…

“Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”Luke 17:19

Why did just the one leper choose to thank Jesus for his healing? Where were the other nine? Perhaps, they doubted that they had truly been healed and sought the confirmation of the priests.  Maybe, they believed that they deserved their healing after a life of isolation and rejection. Or, they may have taken their healings for granted and set off to enjoy their new lives. Whatever their reasons, all were living ungrateful lives where blessings go unnoticed or unappreciated.

God daily showers us with His blessings. Do we respond as the nine lepers? Do we rationalize away the miracles, big or small, that He works in our lives? Do we feel entitled to His blessings? Do we take His grace and bountiful provision for granted as we go about our day?

Or, do we choose to be thankful as the one leper? For gratitude is a choice. In response to his miraculous healing, the leper wanted to thank and praise his Healer. He had a heart of gratitude.

Jesus healed this man both physically and spiritually. The grateful leper was transformed after his encounter with the Lord. His faith in Jesus made him well. The leper recognized and worshiped Him as his Healer.

“Grumbling and gratitude are, for the child of God, in conflict. Be grateful and you won’t grumble. Grumble and you won’t be grateful.” — Billy Graham

How do we live a thankful life? We choose to be grateful. Our blessings do not go unnoticed and unappreciated. Rather than seeing our lack, we notice how generously and mercifully our Lord has provided. Rather than grumbling and complaining, we are thankful that our blessings far outweigh our problems. We have so many reasons to be thankful. We choose to open our eyes to God’s many miracles and blessings.

“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”

A thankful life sees the richness of God’s blessings through the years. Our past is filled with abundant memories. We remember and thank God for “the best not the worst, the beautiful not the ugly, things to praise not things to curse” (Philippians 4:8). We thank Him for the privilege of another day to wake up and enjoy. We thank Him in expectation for all that He will do in our lives… miracles, answers to prayer, blessings.

We thank Him in every time and every season. We thank Him in the good times and the bad… the mountains and the valleys. We thank Him for a lifetime of blessings. For He is with us every day. His love creates in us a grateful heart.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”Psalm 100:4

A thankful life gives praise and glory to God. Like the thankful leper, we worship Him for who He is and His constant love and grace in our lives. We praise Him for the miracles and blessings He showers upon us daily. For God is glorified by a thankful heart.

When we live our lives with an attitude of gratitude, we will discover that our perspective on life begins to change. Our outlook becomes more positive… our view toward others more gracious and loving. We seek to celebrate life for we are grateful, thankful and blessed.