Archives for posts with tag: Christianity

I had the honor to speak at chapel for my daughter’s school on 11/16/16. I love speaking to the 4th 5th and 6th graders at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and their teachers and administrators.

This time I was assigned “thanksgiving” as the topic, which was way better than “forgiveness” which I had last time. Or so I thought…

The presentation started really well as I shared the meaning of the word “thanksgiving” as found in Psalm 95:2 and Psalm 100:4. These were the anchor verses I’d been given. But, because my daughter Koah warned me to “not be boring,” we added a short skit with 13 students from her religious studies class. Two teachers had even given all of the “actors” a tunic from another event. We were doing a skit from a day in the life of Jesus, as He healed the Ten Lepers.

ten-lepers

Ten Lepers By Larry Patton (www.larrypatton.com)

As background leprosy was/is a devastating disease of the central nervous system. It made the body numb and caused lepers to injury their limbs, eyes, faces. Often they had sores and deformities. To make it worse the disease was highly contagious. If a person contracted it, he or she was banished from society. The afflicted loss their family, friends, job, synagogue, wealth… lives. Lepers often lived together, but isolated away from everyone else.

This story also confronts what sounds like 21st century bigotry. One of the lepers in the story is noted as a Samaritan. To our modern ears we hear this in context that is much different than the original audience. Samaria was at one time the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. But it fell quickly into sin and was judged by God. It was captured and its enemies moved in and took over. In time the Jewish people intermarried with the Gentile captors. The rest of Israel referred to Samaria’s citizen base as despised half-breeds. The Jewish people in the southern Kingdom hated the Samaritans so much that they would walk miles and miles out of the way to avoid going through Samaria, even through it was the direct route through the territory.

With this said, the actual story is short so I’ll share it directly from Luke 17:11-19 (Amplified Bible)

While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.”

Lessons:

  • Jesus is available to those who seek Him

When the lepers cried out, He was listening and responded

  • Everyone Needs Jesus

Whether we know it or not, we all need His offer of salvation

  • Jesus is willing and able to help/heal

What ever your situation Christ has the ability to make a difference

  • It is wise to ask for His help
  • We have a role – to obey

The lepers were healed as they walked. Obedience to His instruction is crucial.

  • Thankfulness is a choice

Only one person who was healed choose to thank Jesus

  • Those who are thankful get closer to Him

The Samaritan, was in a sense the furthest from Christ as an “outsider” but he was the only one who was healed of leprosy, but had the privilege of having a true and conversation with Jesus. He was brought closer, by expressing thanksgiving.

  • When we give thanks we lift Jesus up and encourage others to receive Him

By sharing our thankfulness with others, we have the opportunity to tell them about Christ and how good He is

As I was sharing the above lessons from the story I was hit with a big aha… I asked the student why did the others not come back. And God said to me… maybe they think they DESERVED to be healed. Kelly, maybe this why YOU are not always thankful. You believe that you deserve my grace.

Yikes!!!!!  As I heard God’s words to me, I’m sure that my expression was that of horror, sadness, and conviction. I was so taken aback that I just shared the revelation with the audience right then. And they looked the same way. Am I really one of the nine?

I am. But prayerfully, not going forward. From now on I am the tenth. I am going to thank God privately and publicly for what He does and I am going to praise Him for who He is. (Because He does what He does, because He is, who He is.)

Here is my challenge to you and me. It’s called 1-4-2.

Praise God at least 1 time, before you start your day. Ideally when you open your eyes and realize that you are awake and lived through the night. Some days I do this. But candidly some days I am downstairs in the kitchen having a cup of coffee and it is not until 15-20 minutes that I say, Good Morning Father. Thank You for giving me life. Some days, it’s much later.

4 is thanking God, four times throughout the day while you are at school, work, running errands, raising your kids. I asked the kids and parents that day for ideals on what we could thank God for: passing a test, pizza for lunch, no homework, enough money to get a full tank of gas, for health, a new pair of show, that we can read, we have enough food, our family, our jobs, etc., etc., etc.

2 encourages us to thank God, at least two more times when you get home or in the evening. Ideally one of these times is when you climb back into bed, as you are grateful to have survived another day.

On this Thanksgiving-Eve in the United State I challenge you to give thanks using 1-4-2 daily between now and CHRISTmas.

If you don’t do it, no condemnation, just try again when you remember. And if you do, no haughtiness, because it is only by God’s grace that we do anything well.

I’d love to hear what you think and how it goes… Thank You Lord, for allowing me to share what You told me to share. May if bring people closer to You, myself included.

Happy Thanksgiving, on Thursday 11-24-16 and everyday!!!

Kelly

Advertisements

Christian radio has been a great blessing in my life. Today, Pastor David Jeremiah had a great message on the people who missed Christmas.

Today’s Radio Broadcast

Why Some People Missed Christmas | December 16, 2013

Bible Strong

Discover the kind of people who miss Christmas and the ones who don’t in Dr. David Jeremiah’s message, “Why Some People Missed Christmas.”

Take a moment to listen at http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio