Good day everyone! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day! I pray that everyone has a safe and fun filled holiday season. Get with family and friends and eat, laugh and love! That’s what it’s all about.
Since we’re in this season, my message this week is about giving thanks. Let’s go ahead and dive right in. You all know I love the scriptures so, here it is:
Luke 17:12-19 says, “As He entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ He looked at them and said ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ AND AS THEY WENT, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, THANKING HIM for what He had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.'”
God is good to us. Every day. He blesses us with so many wonderful things. Things that money can’t buy. Life. Health. Strength. Wonderful families. So many things He gives us. In the midst of all that, life happens. We get sick. We lose loved ones. A variety of things happen that we don’t expect and just have to deal with. Yet, we have to understand that these things are in the will of God. These are things that God allows. As I’m writing this, I can hear my Co-Pastor, Linda Stennis say “How can we have a problem with what God allows?!” These things are designed by the Father so that we can give HIM glory! The test is to be able to thank Him through our storms.
In the scripture above, I want you to notice a couple things.
- The men with leprosy stood at a distance. Back in that day, people with leprosy couldn’t live in a walled town. They were quarantined. They had to say “UNCLEAN” as people were nearing them, so that they could go a different way in order to keep from coming in close contact with people. That’s how some people are today. They fall into sin or backslide and stand at a distance from God and from the church. They feel unworthy to be close to God and to His people. Back then, it’s understood why they had to stand at a distance. It was law. But today, I want you to know that whatever your situation is, God is still waiting with open arms, wanting you to come to Him. If you’ve fallen or are in a backslidden state, you don’t have to stay away! You can come back to Him! He wants you CLOSE, not standing at a distance. I know some people that grew up in the church. Had a close, deep relationship with God, but have allowed their “leprosy” (a relationship, a job, just to name a couple) to keep them at a distance. BUT TODAY IS YOUR DAY TO DRAW CLOSE TO GOD!
- Jesus gave them instructions and the lepers were OBEDIENT! The lepers cried out to Jesus saying “have mercy on us.” Jesus gave them one command…”go show yourselves to the priests.” People with leprosy, back then, could only be declared clean by a priest. God never gives instruction without purpose. He doesn’t speak just to be speaking. If he tells you to do something, there’s a reason for it. These men had leprosy. Why would Jesus tell them to show themselves to the priests KNOWING that the priest would turn them away because of their illness? But, the men were OBEDIENT! Verse 14 says that “as they went…” they were healed! Sometimes, the instructions of God make absolutely no sense to our finite minds. Which is why we have to walk and live by faith. And faith doesn’t make sense! That’s why it’s called faith. Faith is believing that whatever God said, is going to happen just like He said it. You have to have the mentality that says “I don’t know how, why, what or when, but God told me to do it, so I’m doing it! That’s faith! That’s what these men did. I’m sure they didn’t see how this would work, but, at the command of the Lord, they went. And as they went (in obedience) they were healed! Being healed, delivered, set free, or whatever it is you’re seeking from God can be attained if you would just be obedient! Disobedience holds up your blessings!
- ONE man came back to say THANK YOU! Jesus healed 10 men. Only one of them gave thanks. I’ve made up my mind that if no one else is grateful, I am! If no one else gives thanks to God, I’ll be the one! In your church, at your job, in your friends’ circle, in your family, YOU should be the ONE that gives God thanks and praise for what He has done! Your praise should be so great and so evident that it should make others want to do it! This leper was so grateful, he didn’t care where the other 9 men went, he made it his business to go back and say “THANK YOU JESUS!!!” It’s the Thanksgiving season, have you thanked Him today? Have you shown your gratefulness and gratitude? Have you thanked Him for all of His many blessings? We take so much for granted. Don’t you go through another day without thanking God. If no ones else does, you should be “THE ONE WHO CAME BACK!”
Well, that’s all for today. And I’ll leave you with the lyrics of one of my favorite songs by Donald Lawrence:
“Don’t forget to remember where all your blessings come from. Don’t forget to give honor where honor is due. Don’t forget to give thanks to the One who put you there. Don’t forget where your blessings come from.”
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!!!
Until next week…..
(Next week’s blog: FAITH speaks louder than words!)