Vol. 11 No. 11 November 2009
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luke 17:11-19)
My leg and hip are hurting today;
My shoulder is also aching as well;
Gas prices are way too high I say;
I wonder if our economy will fail!
I cannot afford what I’d like to do;
It seems like this day is dragging by;
Sometimes pleasures seem far and few;
And I can’t help but wonder why.
But then I stop and contemplate:
I got out of my nice warm bed,
I put food on my breakfast plate,
I had a secure roof over my head,
I said good morning to my loving wife,
I climbed in my truck and drove away,
I have a lot of things in my life,
Things I “need,” things with which I play.
It is so easy to concentrate,
On the problems that I have on earth:
To keep my heart on a path so straight,
In thanks for all I’ve enjoyed since birth.
Let me fall down at my Savior’s feet,
And give Him thanks for everything,
The blessings that are so very sweet,
For to me each gift He does bring.
Let me not be one of the “nine”
Who do not act to say “thank you”;
Instead let thanks swell in this heart of mine,
And gratefulness fill all that I do.
It's Still There!
Ernest S. Underwood
About six years ago I wrote about a tiny flower that was blooming along side of the walkway where people in our town take their walks. It is situated under a large oak tree and just pushes itself up beside the sidewalk. This morning (July 15, 2008) as I took my walk, I saw it again. For six or so years this little plant has tenaciously clung to that spot through wind, storm and drought, and it is still there for the enjoyment and delight of those who happen to pass by and notice it.
Surely, there is a lesson in that somewhere. I wonder how many people in the last six years have had numerous opportunities to hear the truth of the Gospel proclaimed, but who turned away from it and either stayed in, or turned to the hopeless doctrines of men, doctrines of which Jesus Himself said, “In vain they do worship me, teaching as their doctrines the commandments of men.” When told by His disciples that His words had offended the Pharisees He said, “Let them alone. They are blind guides of the blind, and if the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into the ditch” (cf. Matt. 15:1-14 - Read it all!).
I also wonder how many who were faithful to the Lord six years ago have now, like Demas, forsaken Him because of their love for the world. These are the ‘used-to-be’ Christians. They bring shame to themselves and to the church by their desertion, and they surely bring no glory to God.
If God can make that little flower bloom each year and bring glory to Him by its beauty, He can also make everyone who has never obeyed the Gospel bring fruit to glorify Him, and He does this when one “obeys from the heart” that Gospel. To that one who has drifted into sin and is overcome in it, He can lift you up and forgive you if you will repent and return to Him.
Is your life bringing beauty to the lives of others, and bringing glory to God? If not, why not obey Him today? Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).