For some people, to attend church and participate in a religious service is a pure waste of time. For them to be thankful to God is totally wrong, since, in their opinion, they achieve everything by themselves. They do not need to recognize God and His presence, because they are self-sufficient.
They think that they can do everything without God, but the reality is, they cannot. It is as if their heart were dark and lifeless.
They can be good people, but their heart is in a terrible condition. What can they do to change this situation? They want to have a good life, but more important than that, they want to have good heart. A good heart begins with gratitude, with a thankful heart. How can we have that?
In the Gospel of Luke, we have this beautiful story about ten lepers. Here is how Luke wrote it: Luke 17:11-19
“ Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance  and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him — and he was a Samaritan.
 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.””
Here in this text we have Jesus making his last trip to Jerusalem. He comes close to Samaria, a region that the Jews used to avoid, because they didn’t like each other.
While He was in one of the villages, ten lepers called from a distance and asked for mercy. He then looked at them and sent then to the priests. When they were on their way to the priests the leprosy disappeared, they were totally healed.
One of them, when he realized that he was healed, he decided to come back and thank Jesus.
This story will help us to find out how we can have a new heart, a THANKFUL HEART.
1 – RECOGNIZING OUR CONDITION
The first step to have a thankful heart is recognizing our own condition. These lepers knew who they were. They could not get close to anybody. If they did they would be stoned to death. This is why they stood at a distance and cried. Leper is a visible illness. You know and everybody knows. They cried for mercy, because they were miserable. They needed mercy.
Sometimes people don’t have a thankful heart, because they cannot recognize their situation. They never realize that they were lost and now they are found.
Sometimes because they grew up in a good family, and always participated in church activities, they think that they are not lost. They think that the Kingdom of God will be better because of them. They are the heirs of the Kingdom, or they will get it by osmosis. They don’t need Jesus. Jesus needs them.
My friend we will not be able to have a thankful heart if we do not recognize our condition, and our need for grace and mercy.
Have a blessed week,