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Summary: This sermon uses a powerful visual illustration to drive home the truth of the importance of being thankful.

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A Hole… Made Whole

Luke 17:11-17

This morning you will have to put on your thinking hat because this is a real Rick sermon… a little outside the box.

We will look at two passages of scripture that are unlinked… except perhaps in my mind.

Luke 17:11-17 and Romans 1:21 ((Display and read Luke 17:11-17 Romans will be read later))

Each of us receives MANY good gifts from God. How we receive the gifts reveals whether we are a hole… or whether we are WHOLE.

The question we each will have to ask is…

Am I a hole… or have I been made whole?

Are you confused yet? Now let me help you understand

Jesus was walking along a road when he came upon a colony of lepers.

Not leopards… lepers.

At first they followed custom and called out… “Unclean… Unclean”

They were shocked when the man did not stop or turn away. In fact, he walked straight to them… looking and smiling.

They recoiled and called louder… “Unclean… Stop.”

When the man did not stop and they could not run away they hid their faces. As they looked they beheld a smiling face.

They asked who he was. On hearing it was Jesus… they were filled with hope and called out… “Jesus… Master… Have mercy on us!”

He did. He reached out and took them by the hand, pulled them to their feet and said, “Go… show yourself to the priests.”

As one they began to run, faster and faster… watching the sores disappear… and their skin turn back to its normal color.

They stopped and looked at each other and at their own bodies… in shock. Then, they ran away to their own villages, to their families… to all they had lost and all they had longed for.

One of them however, after seeing the perfectly restored skin, took a look back… to where Jesus stood… smiling… and instead of running home… he ran back and fell at the feet of Jesus… and did something he had not done for many years… he touched another person. Kissing Jesus feet, he said, over and over… “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.”

You may say, “That is not in my bible. It does not say he kissed Jesus’ feet.”

Think about it. Put yourself in his place. Duh!

Jesus turned to the crowd that was following him and asked, “Were there not 10 healed? Where are the other nine?”

Then He took the man by the hand and pulled him to his feet and said, “Arise, Go, your faith has made you whole.”

Did you catch that? It might sound like a small difference but it is HUGE!

10 were healed… 1 was WHOLE

10 received a great gift from God

9 ran away… healed

1 went away… WHOLE

What is the difference between healed and whole?

Let me put it this way…

9 were holes

1 was WHOLE

What makes a HOLE and what makes one WHOLE?

We all receive great gifts from God

But for some, when God gives gifts to those people, it is like pouring them in a hole.

Are you familiar with the expression, “Throwing money in a hole.”

It means nothing comes of it… no result… no good, no benefit.

God pours out His good gifts on ALL of us ((10 out of 10))

Some are sucking black holes that just suck up the gifts and NEVER say Thank You… never acknowledge that it is from God.

They just suck them up

9 Lepers were holes… they received the good gift from God… but they just ran away… unchanged in their heart.

Many people are gift holes… they never even recognize, much less acknowledge, that God has given them anything.

They take credit… give credit to other places… believe it is their good luck… think they deserved it… believe they would have gotten it anyway… don’t even recognize it.

They are GIFT HOLES

But one of the former lepers was different

This one went back to Jesus and said THANK YOU!

Jesus told him… you have been made WHOLE.

9 were holes… 1 was WHOLE

What was the difference?

He received the gift, recognized it and acknowledged it… AND IT DREW HIM CLOSE TO JESUS

The others did not recognize or acknowledge the gift and they went AWAY FROM JESUS.

What happens to gift holes?

Don’t take my word… Listen to the Word of God…

Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Let me read you the Pendleton Translation

Although they received the gift from God, they did not acknowledge it or give thanks to Him for it, but their thinking was messed up and their hearts became sucking black holes.

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