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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Inspired by . . . Where are the nine?

Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” 


Ten were healed, yet only one returned thanks. One out of ten. By any account, those are not glowing statistics. When you stop and think about it, the enormity of ingratitude is overwhelming.

Leprosy was no minor affliction. Those who had it were not allowed to worship in the temple. They had to maintain a certain distance from other people. Essentially they were cut off from all human contact and even believed that they were cut off from God.

They called Him Master. They had heard the rumors about Him, certainly, but had never expected to see Him here so far from Jerusalem. Yet, here He was entering the same town. Embolden, they cry out, acknowledging Him as Master, awaiting His command.

They asked for mercy not healing. Did they sense that their affliction was more than skin deep? or did they simply hold to the Jewish belief that leprosy was, more than any other disease, a mark of God's displeasure? a particular punishment for sin?

Go, show yourselves. Jesus not only heals them, all of them, but He sends them to the priest so that it may be declared publicly that they are healed. 

Seeing he was healed, he returned. The Samaritan Leper. His life had just been completely changed and his first desire is to acknowledge and praise the One Who changed him. 

Were there not ten? The praise of the one only magnifies the ingratitude of the nine. You can almost hear the hurt in our Lord's voice. To have His great kindness so slighted must have grieved Him deeply.
"[It] intimates how justly He resents the ingratitude of the world of mankind, for whom He had done so much, and from whom He has received so little." ~Matthew Henry
The truth is, what Jesus did for those ten lepers is nothing compared to what He has done for us. They were ostracised, we were dead. Jesus restored them to the community, He has restored us to LIFE!

How many of us are guilty of the sin of ingratitude?

How many of us who call Him Master acknowledge and praise the One Who has saved us so completely? We sing the songs and pray the prayers and then walk away like nothing has happened.

May we, like the Samaritan Leper, recognize the enormity of His mercy as it unfolds in our lives day after day. May we develop a pattern of thankful praise and always remember the lesson of the lepers.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Inspired by . . . more and more

But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more. 15 
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness 
And Your salvation all the day, 
For I do not know their limits. 16 
I will go in the strength of the Lord God; 
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. 
(Psalm 71:14-15) 


A fog shrouds everything in a moist blanket this morning. The arthropods have been busy during the night. Fine threads stretch between stalks and petals forming a highway of tiny diamonds.

Mother nature is following the calendar closely this year as she shifts from the golden sunrises of October to the damp, cool mornings of November. Leaves already litter the ground, barely having time to change their coats before the wind sends them flying.

The beginning of November, with the Thanksgiving Day holiday looming in the not-so-distant future, always brings a shift in my focus.

What am I thankful for? Am I living with an attitude of gratitude? What does it really mean to be thankful? to give thanks?

I seem to revisit these questions every November. And that's okay because scripture has enough answers, when it comes to thankfulness, to last a lifetime.

With the Psalmist, I acknowledge that there is no limit to God's righteousness, no limit to His strength, His power to save. It follows then, that there should be no limit to our praise.

I will praise Him yet, more and more.


Sharing inspiration here:
#TellHisStoryFaith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, #HeartEncouragement,
Thoughtful Thursdays#w2wwordfilledwednesday,
Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments,
#DanceWithJesus; Imparting Grace; Image-in-ing

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Inspired by . . . Hymns of Faith: Doxology

I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore. (Psalm 86:12)

Today we end the way congregations have been ending for nearly 350 years. I'm thankful to Thomas Ken for writing these words all the way back in the late 1600's and for standing up for the moral right against the English monarchy.

True worship involves an offering. Let's continue in our daily praise and worship, offering God not only our song but more importantly, our lives.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


You can find the entire series here.