The Faith That Heals- Luke 17.19

Praising God in Gratitude!

And He said unto him, “Arise, go your way; your faith had made you whole” – Luke 17:19.

Observe: [1] The Lord acknowledged his faith. It was a great comfort for a Samaritan like him, whom the Jews who called themselves people of God had so much despised, that his faith was acceptable unto the Lord and was indeed accepted. How the Lord saw him had set him apart from the rest. God did not only bestow His mercy because of his prayer; the Lord was pleased with him. Indeed, as Matthew Henry commented, “the Lord’s grace is doubled unto us whenever we approach the Lord with a prayer of faith and return with a prayer of praise”.

In our approaches to God, let us keep a spirit of humility and boldness, with obedient faith and let us not forget to turn back with a prayer of praise and a triumphant testimony. Let our gratitude fire up our service unto the Lord. As we receive God’s mercies through the ministries of our church, let us also be actively a part of these ministries that we may share our joy with the brethren who draw intimately upon the mercies of the Lord through these ministries. We may join the choir or the praise team. We may teach, preach, give, comfort or pray. Whatever it may be, it is already between you and God. The ministry of the laity largely contributes to the growth of the church because God works through them and through the members’ love for each other. In another song, it says, “What can we give that you have not given? What do we have that is not already yours? All we possess are this life we’re living and that’s what we give to you Lord”

Let us remind ourselves to continue to keep our church a sanctuary of the Lord’s grace and mercy through our active participation in our church ministries as an expression of our gratitude toward our Lord who has given us so much.

end of series…

Image Courtesy of:

http://liveingrace.org/

Advertisements

Where are the Nine? Luke 17.17-18

only one returned to give thanks...

And Jesus answering said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There was not found one that returned to give glory to God, except this stranger” –Luke 17:17-18.

Observe: [1] Ten were cleansed but only one returned to give thanks. The missing nine probably were Jews. Perhaps, they got so excited to get a release from the priests so they could reunite with their respective families. Perhaps, they had to finish the strict ceremony for purification (Leviticus 13) that they forgot the most important thing- to return to Jesus and thank Him. The Jews called themselves children of God and rightfully so but at the first instance of healing, turning back to the Lord was not their instinctive priority. Rev. Matthew Henry commented allow me to paraphrase: “Ingratitude is a very common sin. Of the many that receive mercy from God, very few return to give thanks in a manner befitting the grace that they have received. Often those who prove most grateful are those from whom it is least expected. Here a Samaritan gave thanks, while the Jews did not. Sometimes, many who profess true religion are out-done and quite shamed, by those who are outside the church, not only in moral value but also in piety and devotion… it also shows the ingratitude of the world of humanity, for whom he had done so much, and yet from whom he has received so little”.

There is hymn by Frances Havergal, “I gave, I gave my life for thee; what hast thou given for me?” The Lord’s mercies are for all because it is His nature to show mercy. As children of God, let us all possess a nature of faithfulness in our expressions of our gratitude for “He (the Lord) who has called us is faithful”- Hebrews 10:23, even when we are faithless, 2 Timothy 2:13 says. Although, this should not give us a reason to be complacent but be for us an encouragement to be faithful. In the last days, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, men will be selfish, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful and unholy. Let us guard ourselves from being one of those unthankful people by keeping our focus on Christ, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). The Lord looked for the nine. It means He expects each one of us to return to Him with thanksgiving.

to be continued…

Image:

Puyallup United Methodist Church Online Ministry -November 22, 2009

The Lord’s Answer- Luke 17.14

And when He saw them, He said unto them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And it came to pass that, as they went, they were cleansed. –Luke 17:14

According to the Law of Moses, the priests had quarantine powers and only the priest could pronounce that a leper was already clean.

The Healing of Naaman

Observe: [1] Jesus’ statement was a great test of obedience and the lepers showed great faith. He said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests”. The lepers went as Jesus directed them. If you would remember the Old Testament account about Naaman, the Syrian general who had leprosy in 2 Kings 5, prophet Elisha asked him to dip himself seven times in the Jordan River and he would be clean. At first, he got angry because he expected the prophet to perform a sort of ritual to pray over him but he did not. He thought that what the prophet asked him to do was rather absurd because he believed that the rivers in Damascus were cleaner by far than the Jordan River if dipping into a river was the way to cure his disease. However, when he obeyed the command of the prophet of God, and he dipped himself in the Jordan River seven times, “his skin was restored again like unto the flesh of a little child”-2 Kings 5:14.

The lepers received almost the same kind of instruction but unlike Naaman, they proceeded at once without hesitation. Imagine, the Lord have asked you to go to the priest while you can still see the leprosy on your skin! We can expect God to meet us with mercy when He finds us in obedience especially in things that seems beyond our abilities or against our expectations. When we choose to obey God no matter how difficult it may seem to be in our circumstances and choose to trust His wise judgment, He will surely not miss doing for us what we cannot do. Often we sing this hymn, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” We cannot separate the two since we cannot say we trust if we do not obey because we cannot obey whom we do not trust.

[2] The Lord’s statement also shows His respect for the ordinances of the Law of Moses and the priests who were responsible for those ordinances. In the same way, the mercies of God flow through the different ministries of our church. We should not be shy to approach our pastor so that he could pray over us. Let us attend our prayer meetings, Bible studies or Sunday school. We can experience the mercies of God intimately in our lives through our diligent use of those means.

to be continued…

The Lepers’ Prayer- Luke 17.12-13

As He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers who stood afar off; and they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Teacher, have mercy on us!”- Luke 17:12-13

Jesus heals ten lepers

The Lord met ten lepers while on His way into a certain village. In Jewish culture, they consider leprosy as God’s punishment for a particular sin. Therefore, more than any other disease, it is a mark of God’s displeasure. In Leviticus 13:45, a person who had leprosy must wear torn clothes, must not fix his hair and must put a cover on the lower part of his face and cry out “Unclean! Unclean!” As long as he had the disease, he must live alone outside the camp. You could just imagine the stigma against those men. God knew how these people were suffering and so Christ, who came to take away sin, and turn away wrath, took particular care to clean the lepers that fell on his way.

Observe: [1] They have kept a distance from the Lord but they lifted their voice to Him. They have been too embarrassed to come near the Lord because of their disease but still, they have cried out to Him with boldness. Allegorically, sin has covered us with spiritual leprosy that we are so ashamed to approach the Lord. We, too, have been impure and like the ten lepers, we can cry unto the Lord with the confidence that He will clean us. The lepers’ prayer is a symbol of humility, boldness and trust. God is holy and we in our state of humanity are impure. While we keep a humble spirit, we can confidently approach His throne of grace and mercy.

[2] They called Him Teacher. It seemed that, they had heard the Lord teach and preach the gospel. They were ready to hear what He would say and they would be ready to follow.

[3] The lepers asked for mercy. They could have had asked directly for healing but they did not. They cried for the Lord’s mercy. It was a cry of faith. Perhaps, they could no longer enumerate the hardships they were going through but they trusted God. They knew that the Lord’s mercy never fails.

Sometimes, in the immensity of our problems, we no longer know what we need and how to ask for it. However, we know that when the Lord’s mercy begins to work in our lives, we could get more than what we could expect.

to be continued…