Posts Tagged ‘God’s word’

Lesson From a Leper

Dear readers.

Have you enjoyed these warmer days? Me, too. I suspect we had better appreciate them, because it is a long time until spring weather returns.

We’ve been working in the house this past week, getting some new cabinets installed in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to the day I can finally say, “it is finished,” and I can sit down, look out the window and really enjoy the view. Now for some thoughts on Thanks Giving.

In Luke’s gospel, we read a story about ten men with leprosy, who encounter Jesus. They called out to Him, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” He told them to go and show themselves to the priests, and as they went, they were healed.

We are told that one of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back, threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him. It was noted in the text that he was even a Samaritan.

Jesus then asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? The only one to come and thank me is this foreigner.” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)

What made the one different? He noticed.

All ten were healed, but this Samaritan noticed. He returned to Jesus to give thanks for his healing. It’s hard not to say something, when something spectacular has happened.

Genuine thanksgiving is spontaneous, even involuntary—you recognize you have been blessed and can’t help but share your joy through thanksgiving.

By returning to Jesus, he is given a second gift. He leaves Jesus not only healed but also blessed in his own recognition of healing, blessed at being drawn into a deeper relationship with the one he thanks, blessed at hearing himself commended for having great faith.

That’s the way thanks-giving always works—in giving thanks for a gift given, we are blessed again.

Be grateful for blessings. That is called gratitude.

Be thankful, that is, give thanks for blessings of all sizes.

Notice your blessings. For those with eyes to see, God’s blessings are all around us. And as we give thanks for them, we notice even more and are blessed over and over.

In this season of Thanksgiving, are you thanking the Lord for His many blessings? After all, He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).

Praise Him,

Pastor Jerry

Reasons or Excuses?

Okay, here are the answers to some of the questions regarding our plans for the future, the change I’ve been talking about. No, we are not retiring from ministry or leaving Ericson. The Lord has not indicated to me that we are to stop doing what we are doing. What it does mean is that we are insuring that we have a place to live and call our own. We can live at Lake George as long as we want, but wisdom tells us to find a place a little less remote, and closer to the services we may need in the future. Lake Ericson is not exactly big city, but it is a lot closer to one. After living here for almost 14 years, this is home. You might pray for us, because all this is a bit overwhelming at times.

For a long time, I’ve noticed that when I talk to people, and they learn that I’m a pastor, they begin to make excuses for not being faithful in going to church. I want to say “tell those to the Lord, he’s the one to whom you will have to answer.” I’m not saying there are not legitimate reasons for missing a worship service, or a weekly Bible study. Many times circumstances just won’t let us be where we want to be. I do, however, have questions when the first response is some shallow excuse. Jesus told a story about a man who invited people to a banquet, and we read, “But they all alike began to make excuses.” (Luke 14:18). It is a picture of people excusing themselves from an invitation to follow Jesus.

Concerning those who refused to believe in Him, Jesus said this, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin, Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22).

The devil prompts us to make excuses for our disobedience, while Scripture tells us to give the reason for our hope. “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15).

It would seem to make sense that we should give legitimate reasons for our behavior, instead of just manufacturing excuses.

Just thinking,

Pastor Jerry