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If you are looking for a good devotional resource and you haven't come across Bo Giertz’ daily devotional, To Live with Christ, you need to check it out! Pastor Giertz (1905–1998) was a Bishop in the Lutheran Church of Sweden. A faithful pastor and wonderful writer, Pastor Giertz' devotions are Christ-centered and one hundred percent applicable to our daily lives! The reflective prayers at the end of each devotion are worth the price of the book alone!

As we look toward our national day of Thanksgiving, giving thanks to One whom all praise and thanksgiving is due, I commend to you a sample devotion from To Live with Christ. Enjoy!

Serving you in Christ,
Pastor Nettleton

Thanksgiving Day (Luke 17:11–19) 1
by Bo Giertz

Where are the nine?Luke 17:17

Of the ten lepers there was only one who made the effort to give thanks when Jesus healed them. The others showed gross ingratitude. Many show their ingratitude just by giving thanks in this way, only when they feel they have something special to give thanks for.

That someone who denies that God exists doesn't thank Him for His gifts is understandable. But there's an infinite number of those who count on God's existence, who receive most of His gifts without saying thank You. They do it day after day. Everything we receive regularly we so easily regard as something we have a right to, something we naturally should have. To live and be able to go to work, to have our near and dear ones around us, to have food on the table and heat in our homes so easily become things we take for granted. That's why it's such a useful reminder to thank God for food. Just that, however, is something many feel is so unnecessary, an old custom we can put away.

This is the attitude of dead faith. God has become something in the background. Almost everything goes on by itself. Only when things get difficult, when children are missing, or your heart starts acting up, or the company starts to lay people off, or the rain pours down during the harvest season—then God should come to the rescue. If He does it right and like we asked, then we have a reason to give thanks.

The problem is that we don't know who God is. We've reduced Him to an aid in distress, a reserve we have in an emergency. We don't see Him just when He's closest to us: in every event of everyday life, in everything we see around us, in everything that grows and blooms, everything that lives and moves, in our own body and all its cells and tissues. We don't realize how He says “let there be” in each and every new moment and how dependent we are on His words of creation. And least of all can we imagine how, in the middle of creation, there's an ongoing struggle between the Creator and the destroyer, where only God's constant help and mercy can save us from destruction.

Knowing God is having a well of thanksgiving that never runs dry.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, all His hosts, His ministers who do His will! Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion, Bless the Lord, O my soul! (From Psalm 103)

  1. Bo Giertz, To Live with Christ (Concordia Publishing House, 2008), 766–767.

Rev. Shawn Nettleton is Senior Pastor at Saint John’s Lutheran Church. You can reach him in the church office, by email at or at 970-305-2420.