June 28, 2017

The One Who Thanked Jesus

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And as He went to Jerusalem, it just so happened that He went through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, ten lepers met Him, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, pity us.” And seeing them, He said to them,”Go show yourselves to the priests.” And it happened, as they went, that they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back and glorified God with a loud voice. And he fell down on his face at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. And answering, Jesus said. “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were none found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him,”Rise and go, your faith has cured you.”

Luke 17:11-19

This story is quite simple to understand….  As Jesus was passing between Galilee and Samaria, He saw ten lepers coming toward Him.  They were begging Him for mercy and healing.  So Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests (which was a prerequisite to be declared clean and free from leprosy).  And, as the ten of them ran off, they were healed!  But, can you believe out of the ten, only one—a Samaritan—came back and praised Him.

{Aren’t we guilty of this?}  God blesses us a thousand times and we forget to thank Him and we find something to complain about.  Something He didn’t get quite right and we want a do-over.  Friend, until we begin to thank Him and praise Him, even in the hard times, we will never be fully filled with joy. Praising and thanking Him  and naming each gift reminds us of how much He has blessed us and how much He loves us…and that we serve a good God Who can only give good things.  It may not look good on the outside, but there is good to come of it or from it.  If we let Him in and allow Him to work in those times, He will  make it all worth the ride.

In the story of these lepers, we see that Jesus healed each one physically.  But the one leper that came back actually received far more for his faith; for not only was he cured physically—he was cured spiritually.  His soul was saved and he received a real relationship with God.  Nine lepers received a partial healing.  A temporary blessing for their time on earth.  The grateful Samaritan received an eternal blessing.  All he did was give thanks—he praised Him for the healing.  See, they all had the faith to trust Jesus, come close to Him, be heard by Him, and ask for His mercy. But only one had the humility and the honesty and character to say, “Thank You.”

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Who are you today?  Are you one of the nine…who has just enough faith to ask something of the Father and take it for granted?  Are you one of the nine…who really didn’t care about a real relationship with Jesus, and left right after the blessing?  Or are you the Samaritan…who not only had enough faith to ask for complete healing, but returns time and time again to the One Who wants so much more for us and longs for a real relationship with us.

Friends, I pray that you begin to really thank Him for what He has done for you.  All the small ways that He loves you.  And yes, of course the biggest way—when He sent Jesus to come and go before us.  And then to pay the ultimate sacrifice with His life so that we may live.  He continues to give us grace and mercy even when we fail Him over and over again.

Do you know Him?  Today can be the day that everything changes.  Your life can truly be one of joy and blessings.  All you have to do is ask.  I encourage you to pray this prayer with me.

 ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥

 

Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I need You to come into my life and change me.  I believe that Jesus is Your Son and He died on the cross to pay for my sins.  Thank You for this free gift. Help me on this journey to seek You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

The One That Thanked Jesus

encouragementbloggraphicromans15

And as He went to Jerusalem, it just so happened that He went through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, ten lepers met Him, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, pity us.” And seeing them, He said to them,”Go show yourselves to the priests.” And it happened, as they went, that they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back and glorified God with a loud voice. And he fell down on his face at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. And answering, Jesus said. “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were none found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him,”Rise and go, your faith has cured you.”

Luke 17:11-19

This story is quite simple to understand… As Jesus was passing between Galilee and Samaria, He saw ten leper coming toward Him, begging Him for mercy and healing.  So Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests (which was a prerequisite to be declared clean and free from leprosy).  And, as the ten of them ran off, they were healed!  But, can you believe out of the ten, only one—a Samaritan—came back and praised Him.

Aren’t we guilty of this?  God blesses us a thousand times and we forget to thank Him and we find something to complain about.  Something He didn’t get quite right and we want a do-over.  Friend, until we begin to thank Him and praise Him, even in the hard times, we will never be fully filled with joy. Praising and thanking Him  and naming each gift reminds us of how much He has blessed us and how much He loves us…and that we serve a good God Who can only give good things.  It may not look good on the outside, but there is good to come of it or from it.  If we let Him in and allow Him to work in those times, He will  make it all worth the ride.

In the story of these lepers, we see that Jesus healed each one physically.  But the one leper that came back actually received far more for his faith; for not only was he cured physically—he was cured spiritually.  His soul was saved and he received a real relationship with God.  Nine lepers received a partial healing.  A temporary blessing for their time on earth.  The grateful Samaritan received an eternal blessing.  All he did was give thanks—he praised Him for the healing.  See, they all had the faith to trust Jesus, come close to Him, be heard by Him, and ask for His mercy. But only one had the humility and the honesty and character to say, “Thank You.”

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Who are you today?  Are you one of the nine…who has just enough faith to ask something of the Father and take it for granted?  Are you one of the nine… who really didn’t care about a real relationship with Jesus, and left right after the blessing?  Or are you the Samaritan…that not only had enough faith to ask for complete healing, but returns time and time again to the One Who wants so much more for us and longs for a real relationship with us.

Friends, I pray that you begin to really thank Him for what He has done for you.  All the small ways that He loves you.  And yes, of course the biggest way—when He sent Jesus to come and go before us.  And then to pay the ultimate sacrifice with His life so that we may live.  He continues to give us grace and mercy even when we fail Him over and over again.

Do you know Him?  Today can be the day that everything changes.  Your life can truly be one of joy and blessings.  All you have to do is ask.  I encourage you to pray this prayer with me.

 ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥

 

Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I need You to come into my life and change me.
I believe that Jesus is Your Son and He died on the cross to pay for my sins.
Thank You for this free gift. Help me on this journey to seek You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Gift

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Don’t you just love receiving gifts?  It makes us so excited when we are given a box with beautiful paper and a bow—and know that whatever is inside is ours!

I want everyone to think back for a few minutes to  the “BEST GIFT” you ever received?  Now…tell us: what was it?

I wish I could hear you tell me and to be able to hear the excitement and joy in your voice as you tell about that special gift!

There was one special Gift that was given to us all that will surpass all the gifts anyone has ever or will ever receive….  That Gift is JESUS!

But we must remember this gift can’t be ours unless we receive it by faith.  It can’t be of any use to us now or in our future unless we receive it  (Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened),  open it (Revelation 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.)  and accept it  in our heart  (John 1:12 “But to all who believed him and accepted him, He gave the right to become children of God.”)   And then we need to make this Gift our own as He meant for it to be.

Many times, gifts we have received over the years become something left on a shelf that gets looked at occasionally, or eventually something that wears out…but this Gift is one that is “alive” and is hopefully sought after every day.  It’s a Gift that you get to re-open every morning when you open His Word and you get to experience a new part of the Gift given to you from when you first said ‘yes!’ to Him.

It truly is “the Gift” that keeps on giving.”

He was born in Bethlehem they say, there was a star to light the path to where He lay.  Rich or poor they came from far and near, cause they’d all heard the reason He was here.

He was the Son God sent to one and all.  Put on this earth, to hang there on that Cross.
Born to die so we could live. He had the birthday, we got the gift.

They wrapped him up with gentle hands. God hoped the world would understand.
Eternal life we shall receive. And all that He asks in return is that we just believe.

He was the Son God sent to one and all. Put on this earth to hang there on that Cross.
Born to die so we could live. He had the birthday, we got the gift.

There’s no way in this world we could repay the miracle He gave us on that day.

He was the Son God sent to one and all. Put on this earth to hang there on that Cross.
Born to die so we could live. He had the birthday, we got the gift.

The Gift  ~  Randy Travis


 On our Savior’s birthday, we got the gift.

Dear God,

As I think about Your sacrifice You sent to each of us I am joyfully excited for this Gift yet my heart is still saddened because there are some gifts that are still unclaimed, some packages that are still unopened by many!  How sad You must feel to think that the “Gift” is not wanted!  The greatest gift of all, God’s Christmas Gift, Jesus Christ, is still unclaimed by millions!  I pray Lord that before this year is done those millions will say YES to you and open “The Gift” you have given for free.

In Your name I pray. Amen.

Peace of Mind – and – Peace of Heart

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Each week during the season of Advent, our blogs will focus on a central theme which is associated with the coming of Christ—His Advent.  This week’s theme is PEACE. Christians throughout the world celebrate Advent. Some light candles or sing songs; some give gifts or  hang wreaths.  All of these are simple joyous ways of extending the celebration of Jesus’s coming beyond a mere 24 hours on December 25. Our prayer is that these devotionals throughout this season of Advent would help you to celebrate His first Coming and anticipate with the peace and joy of His second Coming.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid
John 14:27

The greatest gift ever given to us is the gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we truly accept this gift, our hearts and minds should be at peace.  The world cannot give us this peace; no matter how hard it tries.

The universal Christmas wish every year is probably peace on earth. Yet what is peace on earth? To many, peace would be no fighting, no hunger, no pain, and no sickness. The world would be giving us everything we need to be at peace. Yet, it can’t. No matter how hard we strive for peace from the world the world cannot give it. Only Jesus can do that.

Jesus’s birth brought the promise of eventual peace on earth.  His birth also brought the promise of peace in the heart. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, spiritual peace of the mind and heart is part of the gift of salvation. We should never have to worry about what the world cannot give us. We are granted peace as part of the gift from Jesus.

I will give you a case in point… From around November 1-January 2, it is chaos in our house. We have school, church, work, and our home lives to deal with. We are constantly on the go during these weeks with family outings and get-togethers. Just when we need a weekend at home or a day of the weekend at home, we can’t get it. We can’t get the peace of our home for one single minute during the weekend. The case this year: December 7-Live Nativity, December 8-Calloway Gardens; December 14-Christmas Parade; December 15-Christmas Lunch and Sports Banquet; December 20 (and on) – family dinners, Christmas, and New Year’s. We can’t get a moment’s peace until at least January 2. Because of the busyness of the world, we cannot get peace of mind because our minds our constantly going with everything that is going on. However, when we think of Jesus, we get a little bit of peace because that is what His birth, death, and resurrection has brought us.

In this season of hope, love, joy, and peace, the main point to remember is the peace that Jesus brought to the world and the peace He will bring again when He returns. Just the thought of eternal life in heaven should bring peace to the mind and heart.

* * * * *

Dear Heavenly Father: Please be with us as we go through this busy time of year. Bring peace to our minds and hearts as we go through the motions of the holiday season.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Esther – Chapter 3:12-15

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As we continue to read the events of this story we see that Haman’s sinister plan was coming together! King Xerxes was just “along for the ride.” I’m not sure that he had even thought through the potential consequences of such an order. He let Haman take full control. Haman dictated the order to the scribes, and then sealed it with the king’s signet ring. This seal guaranteed the death and destruction of God’s people.

When we come to Christ for salvation we are given a seal too. Ephesians 1:13 says that when we believe and are saved, “you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.” So the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is our seal, the evidence of our salvation, and the guarantee of our future inheritance, which is eternal life with Christ.

One king’s seal sealed the death sentence of God’s people. The King of kings’ seal seals the guarantee of eternal life for all who believe in God’s Son, Jesus.

Another opposing comparison that I see is this: Esther 3:12-15 tells us that Haman made sure everyone, everywhere knew that this order was given to destroy all the Jews everywhere. Satan wants all God’s creation destroyed. John 10:10, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy….” God, on the other hand, wants all His creation saved. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere,….” (Mark 16:15-20.) In Isaiah 45:23 God says, “turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no otherBefore Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear (confess allegiance).” Again in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

All of the Jews were “perplexed” (Esther 3:15) and hopelessly dreaded that coming day of doom and destruction. All believers are looking forward with great hope to the day when every knee will bow before our King and we will live!

In this story, Haman and Mordecai represent the struggle of death and life. Haman is trying to kill off the Jews and Esther, whereas, Mordecai is determined to the best of his ability to protect Esther and save their people.

In our individual lives, our flesh, that is our fallen nature, is constantly struggling against our redeemed spirit–that same struggle of death and life. As our author says, “As long as we’re still in the flesh we will continue to struggle with this until the return of our Lord when Satan is destroyed for once and for all.”

Romans 7:18, “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.” Is it your temper, a bad habit, telling “white lies,” rebellion, envy, selfishness, or you name it? We are all tempted on every side or have some area of our life that needs cleaning up.

You might be thinking, “But we have the Law (Ten Commandments and other Old Testament ordinances) to show us how to live right.” God’s Word addresses that in Romans 3:19-20, “Obviously, the Law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the Law commands. The Law simply shows us how sinful we are.”

Haman’s orders singled out the Jews and condemned them to death. The Jews couldn’t stop Haman’s death sentence on their own.  They needed someone to intervene for them. They needed a savior.

The Law singles us out by pointing out our sins and condemns us to death, which is separation from God. Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death.” Like the Jews, we can’t stop the death sentence of the Law on us. We too need a Savior.

Let’s pray over what we have learned today, and then look forward to “the rest of the story.”

Dear Lord, we thank You that as Christians we have the seal of Your Holy Spirit on our lives, and with that the guarantee of our inheritance of eternal life with You.  We are looking forward to the day when we will all bow our knees before You as You sit on Your Heavenly Throne. In our own flesh we are tempted and can never do enough good deeds or obey enough of The Law to redeem ourselves. We thank You, Lord, that Your plan of redemption covers us as we submit our lives to You.  In Jesus’ Precious and Holy Name.

Amen.