Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More than You Bargained For

Luke 17:12-19

And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

More than You Bargained For

Prosperity has become, frankly, a business within the body of believers. It's easy to understand why. The idea of being so connected with the Father, that wherever you lay your feet becomes yours...that the Creator of Heaven and Earth cares for you...YOU, personally. That when you tithe, He shall rebuke the devourer....all these are powerful, true promises that lend themselves to all kinds of interpretations. But 'getting the stuff' isn't the point.

In this passage from Luke, we see a pure form of the prosperity message. Ten men, striken with leprosy, separated from society, unwanted and unclean, cried out to Jesus asking for mercy. They were well aware that apart from God, they could do nothing to change their situation. The mercy of Christ changed everything for them.

They obeyed the word of the Lord, and in their obedience, their situation changed. The Bible testifies that as they were going, they were cleansed. There's a beautiful lesson about doing what God tells you, but that's not what I'm supposed to share.

One came back, loudly glorifying God. One came back to say thank you. One came back understanding what he had really gained.

As a leper, he couldn't do anything but wait to die. He couldn't get food. He was fed at the mercy of people willing to share with the unclean. He couldn't have contact with anyone who wasn't like him. He had to live in darkness, isolation, living hand to mouth, just getting by. Anyone who has ever been depressed over anything - money, poor health, lost loved one - knows exactly what that kind of helplessness feels like.

But in coming back to say thank you, to acknowlege the breadth of the gift, he got more than he bargained for...he was made whole. The others were healed, this one was made whole. That wholeness is the real prosperity.

See, if you just get out of debt without changing your lifestyle, chances are good you'll get back in debt eventually. You have to be made whole. You have to get that thing that motivated you to live beyond your means fixed or you'll just be on a roller coaster of being in and out of debt.

If you get healed from a chronic condition, but you haven't changed your behavior that led to the condition, chances are good that you'll be back eventually. You have to be made whole.

If you've been searching for that 'thing' that makes you feel complete and useful, and you've been filling it with temporary things...money, sex, drugs, work, anything and everything but God, you aren't whole yet. Oh, you may be successful by the world's standards, but you're not prosperous, not really. You're just trying to fill that place in your being that can only be filled by God. You're not whole.

Get beyond the 'stuff'. Get beyond mercy. It is wonderful and I am grateful for it, but mercy is not the full story. The relationship is where the wholeness is.

Trust. Obedience. Study. Work. Growth. These are the hallmarks of wholeness.

Are you whole or have you settled for just being cleansed? Won't you be made whole? If you do not have a place to start, we welcome you at Fellowship.

Wholeness and peace.
Evg. Stephanie Robinson

Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA.

The church website is www.fcchosengeneration.com.
Feel free to share this message. For questions or to subscribe, send an email to fellowship_lifeline@yahoo.com. You can reach the church at chosen.gen@att.net.

Fellowship Church
Where Passions Become Reality
Because you are a CHOSEN GENERATION!
455 Hwy 138, Ste C
Jonesboro, GA 30238

Alton Watkins, Pastor

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