Sermons

Summary: This is the tail of the lepers and the need to give God praise when he preforms a miracle in our lives.

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October 13, 2013 [Green]

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 66:1-12 (UMH 790)

Luke 17:11-19. "A Come Back Shout"

It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.” (Luke 17:11-19 MSG)

Introduction

THANKFUL PEOPLE ARE HAPPY PEOPLE

I read a news story once of a woman who was getting ready to jump off a 44 story building in New York City. Witnesses said that she did not look like the type of person who would do such a thing. She was very distinguished and well dressed. All the attempts made by the police to get the woman off the ledge had failed. One of the officers asked if he could call his pastor in to see if he could help. When the pastor arrived, he asked permission to go to the ledge and talk to the woman.

As the pastor neared the edge the woman screamed, "Don't come any closer or I'll jump!"

The pastor took a step back and then said, "I am sorry that you believe no one loves you."

This got the woman's attention and it got the attention of the police. That was something that you don't usually say to a person who is threatening suicide. The woman took a step towards the pastor and said, "My grandchildren love me and so does my children. My whole family loves me! I have 8 wonderful grandchildren and they love me. "The pastor took a step towards the woman and said, "Well then, you must be very poor, maybe that is why you want to take your own life."

The woman who was a little overweight said, "Do I look like I go without any meals? We live in a very nice apartment. I'm not poor." The pastor took another step closer to her and was now 3 feet from her when he asked, "Then why do you want to kill yourself? I don't understand."

The woman thought for a moment and then said, "You know, I don't really remember."

The story ends with the pastor and the woman walking towards the elevator as she shows him pictures of her grandchildren. Eventually this woman becomes a volunteer on the city's suicide hotline, helping others choose life. What did the pastor do to help this woman?

He helped her get her eyes off herself and onto the many ways that God had blessed her.

She learned a valuable lesson that day. She learned that thankful people are happy people.

If you don't learn anything else today, I hope you learn this valuable lesson. Thankful people are happy people.(From a sermon by Greg Carr, Thankful People are _______ People, 12/23/2010)

(Read Luke 17:11-19)

Move 1. Be thankful even if you have to scream.

Sometimes you need screaming shouting faith!

We read the story too quickly, I think. Slow it down, and picture it with me.

We start with ten men who have the worst disease of their day. The physical ramifications are horrendous. Leprosy attacks the body, leaving sores, missing fingers, missing toes, damaged limbs. In many cases, the initial pain of leprosy gives way to something more terrible than that - a loss of sensation in nerve endings, leading to more damage to more body parts. The disease can take 30 years to run its course, and in that time span, entire limbs can simply fall off. It is, assuredly, a most horrible disease. We have nearly an impossible task in trying to fathom what it was like 2,000 years ago, when medical treatment as we know it today was almost non-existent. Et in order to talk to a leper they had to stand at a distance and scream. You need to know that some times it takes screaming for help!

Beth Moore, in her book Jesus The One And Only, tells of an occasion she had to be near a modern-day leper colony. Something within her had always wanted to minister in a leper colony, but her trip overseas had given her the first opportunity to be near such a place. She walked by the entrance three times. She saw those who were suffering. She begged herself for a chance to go inside. But she could not.

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