When you get to heaven, what will be the first words out of your mouth? I suspect for most of us it will be something along the lines of “thank you.” Two words. Two syllables.
The words “thank you” encompass what volumes have been written about for 2000 years. The words “thank you” express the nearly inexpressible. Sometimes less is more and “thank you” sums it up well.
A thanksgiving story
Luke tells us the story of ten lepers who needed healing. They came to the Savior to be healed of a dreaded disease. The Savior responded with love, compassion, and practical help.
Though they were decimated by sin, He was willing to love them by healing them (Romans 5:8). He asked them to go and show themselves to the priests and if they would do this, they would be healed. They went on their way to the priests and while they were in process, they were healed. The text says:
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” – Luke 17:15-18 (ESV)
When we get to heaven I think the Savior will expect us to have grateful hearts. In the text above, He ties gratitude to a form of praising God. Like hydrogen and oxygen are two components of water, gratitude for God and praising to God are two inseparable expressions of our worship of God.
The Father expects gratitude to be part of our worship. Is this true for you? His expectation is not just a linear “thank you” which spills out when we think about what He did for us. Gratitude is the ontological disposition for any Christian.
Let me explain.
If you fill a cup with water and then bump it, some of the water will spill out of the cup. This is what I mean by an “ontological disposition for any Christian.” Gratitude is not only in us, but it is who we are. Jiggle us a little bit and gratitude spills out of our mouths. This is something the non-Christian cannot possess or express. Authentic, God-satisfying thanksgiving is born in the Christian