And Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" —Luke 17:17-18, NAS
You and I are like Samaritans. We don't deserve to be saved. God notices gratitude—and ingratitude.
The truth is, we need to realize that we should be deeply thankful for what God has done for us—whatever it is—as was that Samaritan who was healed of his leprosy. We must remind ourselves that we are simply unworthy and in no position to bargain with God.
The longer I live, the more amazed I am over God's goodness and mercy to me. For too long I was like the nine who went on their way. God has given me the chance to choose to be like the one leper who returned to say, "Thank You."
That Jesus would say "Where are the other nine?" tells me how much God notices gratitude and ingratitude. It certainly encourages me to show thankfulness to Him, and it truly scares me—now that I seem to know better—when I think of how ungrateful I have been for too many years.
The moment we say "thank you" to the Most High God, we have His undivided attention. Therefore, whenever we sense God is hiding His face from us, it is a precious opportunity not only to get His attention but also to please Him more than ever. It is truly a "sacrifice of praise" (Heb. 13:15) when we manage to praise Him in adverse circumstances. Moreover, it is then when we make the greatest spiritual progress in our Christian life.
So, do you want to get God's attention? Have you had difficulty getting His attention? Here are two things you can do: (1) Ask for mercy when you approach the throne of grace, and (2) say "thank You" when God answers prayer.
Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).