Devotional | Jared Chambers | Dec 31, 2023

First Things First

First Things First

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


The day had been a hectic one. You know the kind. The type of day where you feel like you’re behind from the minute you get out of bed. The type of day where you look up and it’s already 4 p.m. and you don’t know where the day has gone.

The day had been a hectic one … and I had to be home on time. It was my turn to take our 4 year old to dance class, and I had pinky promised that I wouldn’t miss it. Pinky promised. As far as 4 year olds go, there is not a more binding contract than a pinky promise. This was serious.

One last phone call. One last item checked off of the to-do list. Suddenly, my eyes snapped over to the clock. I should have left 10 minutes ago. Hurriedly I packed up my bag, locked my office door behind me, and rushed out of the church building.

I hopped in the truck and reached into my pocket for my keys … and grasped nothing but lint. My heart sank into a pit in my stomach. I had locked myself out of the church building.

I had been in such a rush to get to the next thing that I forgot to pause and make sure I had everything I needed.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Day. Tomorrow we will close the book on the year 2023 and turn the first page of a brand new year. Tomorrow we will start our New Year’s resolutions and begin a journey toward being the people we dream we can be.

But today is New Year’s Eve. Don’t turn that last page just yet. First things first.

In Luke 17:11-19, we read about Jesus encountering ten men who had been afflicted with leprosy. They cry out to Jesus, “Master, have pity on us!” And Jesus does just that. He heals them.

These are men who, because of their disease, had been outcasts. Literally cast out of the city. They had families and friends they hadn’t seen in quite a while. Now, suddenly, they were healed! They could not wait to rush back to town. They could not wait to start their lives again. And nine out of the ten did just that.

That leaves one. There was one man who, upon seeing he was healed, did not run straight into town, did not immediately flip the page and start his new life. Instead, he went back to Jesus. He praised him in a loud voice and he thanked him.

Jesus looks at him and asks, “Where is everybody else? Weren’t there 10 of you?”

Because of Jesus, these 10 people were healed. Because of Jesus, these 10 people were given new life. But only one stopped to thank him.

If New Year’s Day is about resolutions, New Year’s Eve is about reflections.

Let’s not be in such a hurry to turn the page, that we forget about what we’ve read. Let’s stop for a moment and reflect on the year 2023.

Where have you seen God move in your life?

Where have you grown in your walk with Christ?

What did God do in 2023 that you need to stop and praise him for? 


God, thank you for all you have done for me this last year. I praise your name. As I look toward the future, help me not forget that you have brought me here. Help me see more clearly your work in my life and give me a heart of thankfulness.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Jared Chambers
Mayfair Location, Associate Pastor


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