Value God Over the Gifts


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? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Luke 17:11-19

Jesus was once met on the side of the road by ten lepers, each cried out to him for pity.

He healed them all.

Only one returned to praise Him, thank Him, and throw himself at his feet.

The other nine were content to merely receive the healing of Christ. They did not want to actually know this Jesus or follow Him, they wanted only the blessing from Him while they pursued the fading treasures of this world.

Too many of us live like the nine.

We want the blessing of God, not God Himself.

We want the forgiveness of God, but not to know the Forgiver.

We want the grace of God, but not God. The gifts, but not the Giver.

We want to feel the love of God, but not be with the Lover.

We want joy and peace and the abundant life, but not the very Creator of it.

We are too content to receive His blessings while we pursue the offerings of this world.

But how can we know? How can we know if we are chasing after God or merely content with his gifts?

There are two ways to evaluate our spiritual lives:

1. What do we pray for?

When you pray, do you ask for God? Do you pray, “God, I want to know you”? Do you pray for His presence in your life and ask Him to show you more of Himself? Or do you only bring a list of gifts you want Him to give?

2. Do we follow His commands?

Maybe the most forgotten verse in our churches today is John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” One way to check if you love God, and not just the gifts from God, is to see if you are following His commands in every area of your life. Because this is how we show our love for Him.

I can’t help but notice the percentages in the story of the lepers. Ten received healing, only one returned to Jesus Himself. That’s a small minority of people.

Indeed, many people inside and outside the church have experienced gifts from God. But not many turn their life over to Him. Be among the few who value God Himself over the gifts of God.


Heavenly Father, I want to know you more. Show me who you are and allow me to dive deeper into your word. May I be counted among those who seek you more than your gifts. Amen.