Summary: Only one out of 10 that Jesus cured of leprosy bothered to come back and thank Him. People can even take a miracle for granted, and not be thankful. Not being thankful is one of mankind's greatest sins. It shows that man is blind to the grace of God.
Ed Spencer was a hero of one of the worst shipwrecks ever on Lake Michigan. He was studying for the ministry at the Methodist Seminary in Evanston, Ill. On the night of Sept. 8, 1860 he was awakened by the shouts of other students in the dormitory. A shipwreck had taken place not far away. And excursion ship had collided with a lumber freighter, and 400 people were out in the cold water struggling for survival. Ed jumped up, dressed,
and ran the 3 miles to the lake. A strong undertow discouraged many who would have become rescuers. But Ed was a strong swimmer, so he plunged into the chilly waters. The waves were high, and debris hit an cut him, but he was able to make 15 trips and save 15 lives.
He was resting by a fire drinking a cup of coffee when the shout came, "There are two more!" In spite of his exhaustion, he plunged into the surf again, and made it to a peace of wreckage where a man and a woman were clinging for life. He brought them in, and then he collapsed. 287 people drowned, and 98 survived, 17 of them because of Ed Spencer. He never became a minister. His body had been so severely weakened, and he became a invalid who lived out his days in California. As an old man he was interviewed in Los Angeles, and he was asked what he most remembered about the great rescue. "Only this," he replied, "Of the 17 people I saved, not one of them even thanked me. You would think people would be forever grateful, and write him notes of thanks, and even send gifts.
Not everyone has a thankful heart. Only one out of 10 that Jesus cured of leprosy bothered to come back and thank Him. People can even take a miracle for granted, and not be thankful. Not being thankful is one of mankind's greatest sins. It shows that man is blind to the grace of God. To go through life and never say thank you to God is to live the ultimate in the cursed life. Paul says this was one of the main causes for the wrath of God to fall on mankind. Why have so many nations been plunged into darkness? Why do many people live like animals and wild beasts? Why must human creatures live like savages? Because they were not thankful. They took all of God's gifts, and enjoyed the wonders of life, and never once said thank you to God. The result is, they lost God's best, and, instead, had to endure His worst.
It is one of the most stupid things you can do, to go through life and never thank God. But you might say, what have I got to be thankful for? I'm not exactly living in the lap of luxury, just killing time waiting for my Rolys Royce to be fixed. I am aware life is not easy for many, but the fact is, there is much to be thankful for, even with all of life's trials. Even on the physical level there is food, shelter, and clothing available, because there are people who care, and why do they care? Because they are aware that Jesus cares about all people and all needs, and that He met the deepest needs of all men.
Thank God for the forgiveness of sin. All are equally guilty before God, but all are equally free to receive pardon, and be cleansed from all sin. Dr. Cook represented Christianity in the worlds fair many years ago. All of the religions of the world gathered to share their virtues. Dr. Cook came to the platform when it was his turn, and he told the story of Lady MacBeth. She plotted the murder of Duncan, and was filled with guilt. She walked the floor looking at her hand she felt was blotted with blood. She would cry out, "Damed spot! Out, I say," and then in despair moan that all the perfume of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Dr. Cook turned to the representatives of the world's religion and said, "Ladies and gentlemen is there anything in your religion that will take the stains from her hands, and the guilt from her heart?" None responded, and then he said, "I present to you a Savior who can, for the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanses from all sin."
There is a lot of good in the religions of the world, just as there is a lot of good in soap, and the chemical products of men, but nothing can cleanse from sin but the blood of Christ. Thank God there is such a Savior, and thank God you live in a land where the knowledge of this good news is known. What does this mean for you? It means hope, no matter how foolish or sinful you have been.