Our Greatest Reason for Thanks
“However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20
Whenever I allow results to overshadow my gratitude for salvation, my heart veers toward dangerous terrain. Though at first, my reaction feels harmless, this subtle shift of focus invites in pride, comparison, and a performance-based mentality. When I remember my life before Christ’s intervention, however, and contemplate where I’d be now without Him, humble truth not only provides an internal safeguard, but it elevates my praise, as well.
Jesus spoke today’s verse to a group of seventy-two followers returning from a God-ordained mission. He’d sent them out in pairs to heal the sick and tell those they encountered that the “kingdom of God [had] come near” (v. 9).
They did, with astonishing results. They “returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name’” (v. 17). Jesus responded saying, in essence, “I know, and this doesn’t surprise me, nor should it you. But don’t focus on results. Instead, celebrate all you have and are proclaiming in Me.”
Jesus wanted them to remember, always, the greatest gift He’d given to mankind—salvation. This was to be their greatest motivator and reason for praise. This was also their greatest and most enduring assurance. They belonged to God, had been reconciled to Him, and adopted into His family. This meant they could dwell with Him, the Creator of the universe, their Sustainer and the Provider of everything right and good and true. The works He wrought through them, as awesome as they were, weren’t nearly as glorious as all they had in Christ.
We can chase after temporary results, which often lie outside of our control, or we can center our hearts and actions in this—we belong to God. Regardless of whether others receive us or reject us or the results of our efforts, if we’ve trusted in Christ for salvation, our names stand secure in the book of life.
That is ample cause for celebration and thanksgiving!
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multipublished author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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