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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November 26, 2016

Be thankful for what you have, not what you want.

Luke 14:7-11 “Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,  “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him,  and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  ESV

  • SHOW HUMILITY – Verses 7-11
    • It is almost impossible for a prideFULL or arrogant person to feel thankFULL.
      • They already think life is all about them
      • Any good thing that happens is because of them
        • Boss when you do something amazing: “I am sure glad I HIRED you.”
      • We like to think we are really something
      • It hurts when we find out we ain’t all that we think we are
      • We are not to seek the spotlight OR the place of honor
        • but rather we are to act humbly.
      • Instead of seeking places of prominence, we are to seek humble places.
      • Being thankFULL requires us to:
        • Put God first
        • Put others next
        • Be thankFULL for God and all the people He places in our lives
          • Not to seek to be above or better than both
          • This was Adam and Eves downfall
            • They were deceived into thinking they could be like God
            • They should have just remained ThankFULL for all He had given them
      • This was the devils (Lucifer – son of the morning) downfall
        • He thought he should be equals with or better than God
          • He should have just been thankFULL for what God had blessed him with
      • It can be our downfall as well
        • We think we DESERVE better than we have received
        • We think we KNOW better than God
        • We think we should have the place of PRIVILEGE because we have WORKED so hard, GIVEN so much or SACRIFICED more than others.
        • We should just be thankFULL for what God has given us
        • We should be thankFULL for who God is in our lives
          • We are to let others exalt us and not exalt
  • SHOW THANKFULNESS
    • Invited to a banquet
      • Be thankful you were invited
      • Be humble and sit in the worse seat
        • You still get fed
        • Head table or the kids table
        • You still get fed the banquet
      • You are still there
    • Maybe, you will be blessed and invited to move up
      • Don’t be greedy for you don’t have
  • Be thankFULL for what you are given
  • Be thankFULL for the opportunity
  • Be thankFULL for the invitation
  • Be thankFULL you were able to attend
  • Be thankFULL for what God has provided in EACH and EVERY situation

Be thankFULL for the LOVE OF GOD and His OFFER of SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE!