April 2017


4 30                 Turning Back              Luke 17:11-19

God doing what God does

  • Traveling about (while in human form anyway)
  • Making and building relationships with people
  • Healing the hurting

The lepers doing what lepers do

  • Pushed out to the margins
  • Separated from the decent, healthy folks
    • They were seeking help
    • They were crying out for mercy
    • They needed healing
    • They needed to know someone cared
    • They craved human contact
  • Many, MANY others have ignored their cries, made standard responses (bless your hearts, praying for you, will give to the telethon,…etc)

Jesus did what Jesus usually does

  • Something very different from what us self-absorbed and weak faithed people do
  • He healed them
    • Not with a flourish
    • Not with many words
    • Not with mud and spit
      • Jesus sent them to the priests and healed them
        • “AS THEY WENT”
        • We should NOT overlook this phrase!

The lepers showed an extraordinary faith that most do not possess

  • They were still sick and afflicted
  • Nothing had changed
    • They Started towards the temple
    • They believed
    • They were healed AFTER they started their journey

9 lepers, well FORMER lepers, did EXACTLY what most people would do:

  • Took the GRACE God had given them and went on their way
    • No looking back
    • No thanks
    • No sustaining relationship developed
    • Just “I got mine…for now”
    • What makes the Dead Sea dead?
      • Because it is all the time receiving, never giving out anything.
      • The Dead Sea is 1,412 FEET BELOW sea level.
      • Mineral laden water flows into it, but evaporates or is absorbed leaving behind a liquid nothing can live in for long.
      • The Dead Sea is dying, shrinking at what is termed an “alarming rate”
    • Why is it that many Christians are cold?
    • Why is it that many Christians do not serve the Lord?
    • Why is it that many Christians do not GIVE to God through His church?
    • Because they are all the time receiving
      • Never thankFULL as the one leper
      • Grace flows in and either evaporates (goes unnoticed) or is absorbed
      • never giving out anything
        • only wanting to receive
      • Leaving life evaporating at an alarming rate

1 leper, well FORMER leper, did something different

  • He TURNED BACK
  • He changed his path
  • He went to Jesus and GAVE HIM THANKS
  • He was THANKFULL for the GRACE he had been given and desired to praise Jesus
    • Praising God with a LOUD voice
    • FELL at JESUS’ FEET

One fact makes this SUBMISSION, HUMILITY and GRATITUDE even more amazing:

  • He was a SAMARITAN
    • They were haters of the Jews
    • They didn’t get along
    • By the Old Testament the Samaritans were contaminated by bad blood and false worship.
    • We all remember the story of the Good Samaritan in the New Testament.
    • Based on their Samarian homeland today we might call them Muslims or Palestinians….(south of the Sea of Galilee and North of the Dead Sea…between Jerusalem and Nazareth
      • Still enemies of the Jewish Nation today
    • But here, healed by Jesus Christ, THANKFULL
    • Never give up on a person or a people!
      • God can do greater things than you

Jesus healed and encouraged this Samaritan and sent him along his path full of praise, worship and FAITH in Jesus Christ.

  • Today maybe Jesus is asking “Were not more cleansed? Where are the rest?  I gave my life for all but how many return thanks?”
    • Have you been cleansed?
    • Have you lived thankFULL lives?
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April 23, 2017:       Love is….minimum? OR  How DEEP is your love?

Luke 17:7-10 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’?  Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’?   Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?  So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'” ESV

When we are in love with someone we are willing to “go that extra mile” to make them happy.  We will spend the extra money and time to travel across the state just to visit them.  We will buy them something just because we know they will enjoy the gift.  We may…MAY…even take out the trash or do laundry without even being asked; just because we love them.

How much more should we be willing to give to GOD and serve God out of our love for Him?

Why do we make excuses?

Why do we figure out what our minimum financial gift will be?

Why do we struggle with spending time with Him in SS, Church, Prayer meetings, ministry events, revivals, Bible readings, prayer and more?

  • We like to be served
    • We like to take advantage of those who serve us
      • We don’t know them
      • We certainly don’t love them
      • We demand and demand
        • My drink has been empty for 48 seconds
        • I cannot believe this line is so long and the checker is so slow
  • We always want more
    • We want to feel more important
    • We want to feel more special
    • We want to feel more submission from those below us
      • We are an arrogant people
    • So much of our culture seems to be focused on doing the BARE MINIMUM – just enough to get by
      • How many widgets or sprockets am I expected to make
      • How long do I have to complete this task
      • How little can I do and keep the boss happy

We FAIL when we serve God with this attitude

    • How MUCH MORE can I do for my Savior?
    • Can I reach just ONE MORE today?
    • We should always serve Jesus with our BEST – not our MINUMUM!
    • When we only DO THE MINIMUM for God we should feel ashamed.
    • When we bring that attitude to the Cross – To Jesus – to His Church….. we become much surprised
      • We find that we have responsibilities to serve
      • We learn that we have the EXPECTATION to serve
      • We find out that God has a plan for our lives that includes service
      • WE SHOULD FIND that our LOVE FOR GOD leads us to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS in serving Him!
        • How would God rate your love for Him/others?
  • This is where our REAL ATTITUDE kicks in
    • This is where we find out HOW DEEP OUR LOVE FOR GOD REALLY IS!
    • This is when our FAITH kicks in
    • This is when our HUMILITY kicks in
    • This is when our LOVE FOR GOD AND OTHERS kicks in
      • Do we really LOVE God
      • Do we LOVE OUR IDEA of God
        • What HE CAN DO FOR US
          • How can God SERVE ME?

A man was invited to a wedding of a young lady he really didn’t know, although he had great respect and admiration for her father who was his friend. When considering the gift to give to the young bride, he considered that his gift was not so much about the bride, but about honoring the father of the bride. He concluded that you cannot honor the father by throwing pennies at the bride.

  • What is our life to be AFTER we are SAVED?
    • We are not SAVED to SIT
    • We are SAVED to SERVE
    • We are SAVED to SUBMIT
    • We are SAVED TO GIVE
    • We are SAVED to GO
    • We are SAVED to LOVE – Completely & Unconditionally
  • Do your Best
  • Do your most
  • Not out of DUTY
  • Not out of LEGALISM
  • Do all you can do OUT OF YOUR LOVE!
    • EXCEED the requirements of the LAW and the WORD
    • EXCEED the expectations of your religion and your pastor
    • EXCEED the expectations of even GOD
      • God sure did EXCEED our expectations

Last week we looked very closely at how GREAT God’s Love

is for you.  The question this week is how GREAT is your love for God?