Kevin spoke this morning from Luke 17:11-19 TNIV, the story which tells us of Jesus healing ten lepers. Lev 13:45-46 TNIV gives us a glimpse into the devastating effects of the disease leprosy (which remained uncurable until modern times); the leper was forced to live outside the town and proclaim himself ‘unclean!’ To be a leper was to be an outcast, excluded from normal society and family relationships; it was a disease that could affect any age or rank.

These ten lepers were desperate and the only antidote to their situation was Jesus. They cried out to Him in a loud voice, asking Him to have pity on them (Luke 17:13 TNIV). We often find ourselves in desperate situations too and need to learn to cry out in desperation to God (whether audibly or with inner groans). God hears our cries. Now is the right time; here is the right place for us to make our cries known to God, for God is able to meet our every need.

If we have been the recipient of God’s grace, mercy and love (as these ten lepers were), our response needs to be to give praise to God. Only one of the ten lepers returned to Jesus to give praise. The other nine are not heard of again. We have a choice: which way will we go? Will we return to God with gratitude and thanksgiving, as the Samaritan man did, or will be like the other nine who took their healing for granted, it seems? The Samaritan came back and praised God in a loud voice (Luke 17:15 TNIV). He had cried out in desperation in a loud voice; he returned with exuberant praise in a loud voice! He also threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him. (Luke 17:16 TNIV).

If we, as individuals, have known the hand of God on our lives, then there is an obligation on us to praise God! We should give our praise to God loudly and audibly. It’s so easy to remain silent. We live in a society where ingratitude is rife, but those who know God should never be ungrateful.

We can give lots of things to God, including our time, our talents, our money, our belongings. But God wants our whole hearts. He wants us to give our praise to Him. Now is the right time and the right place to do so. As we cry out to God and He meets our needs, we need to return in thankfulness and extravagant praise.