“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Have you ever asked God…”LORD I want to know what to do about..(fill in the blank) Well, I heard a good sermon this week and the preacher said “…don’t tell the LORD ‘I want to know what to do!!!! You need to do what you already know!'” Here in these verses we find out what the will of God is for all of His children. We are going to focus on giving thanks which brings us to our lesson found in Luke 17.
Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem and as He entered a certain village, ten lepers stood afar off and shouted “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”. These men, because of their disease, had been separated from the life of their homes , communities and temples, and lived in painful and hopeless misery. Jesus never turned down an appeal for mercy . “and when He saw them, He said unto them, ‘Go show yourselves unto the priests.’ And it came to pass as they went, they were cleansed.” Oh the joy that must have flooded their souls as they hurried to follow the LORD’S bidding, without pain or impediment. But wait…One of those that had been healed , turned back…and with a loud voice glorified God and fell down at the feet of Jesus, giving Him thanks. Jesus commented on the fact that only one returned to give thanks…and a Samaritan , at that. The Psalms are full of Thanksgiving to God so these men should not have been a stranger to this concept. As a result of this man’s faith, Jesus told him to rise…not only had he been cleansed of leprosy….he had been given salvation!
Children have to be reminded to say “Thank-you”. This is a good story to emphasize this character quality. ” White-out” was used to make the blemishes. I used a flesh-colored marker to color the skin, then used a roughed-up pencil erasure dipped in water color to make blops. (The erasure can be pricked with a pin, or you can use a q-tip.) When dry , apply white-out. (Note: If the skin is colored with waxy crayons, the water color will not adhere . ) If you have older kids you can explain how leprosy (in the Old Testament) was a picture of the hopeless condition of sin that could only be cleansed by God. In Leviticus 13, verse 2, we read that this condition was “a rising in the flesh” (hmmm)…it comes from deep within (v 20) and it spreads (v 22) both on the body and is contagious to others which was why the leper had to dwell alone “outside the camp”. (v46)