Luke 17 (New International Version)
Sin, Faith, Duty
1Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3So watch yourselves.
“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
6He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
7“Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ”
“. . . we have only done our duty.”
A Psalm of Single-Mindedness
by Joe Baily
Lord of reality
make me real
an actor playing out his part-
I don’t want to keep a prayer list
but to pray,
nor agonize to find Your will
but to obey what I already know,
to argue theories of inspiration
but to submit to your Word.
I don’t want to explain the difference
between eros and philos and agape
but to love.
I don’t want to sing as if I mean it,
I want to mean it.
I don’t want to tell it like it is
but to be it
like You want it.
I don’t want to think another needs me
but that I need him
else I’m not complete.
I don’t want to tell others how to do it
but to do it,
to have to be always right
but to admit when I’m wrong.
I don’t want to be a census taker
but an obstetrician,
not a professional
but a friend.
I don’t want to be insensitive
but to hurt where other people hurt,
nor to say “I know how you feel”
but to say God knows and I’ll try
if you’ll be patient with me
and meanwhile I’ll keep quiet.
I don’t want to scorn the cliches of others
but to mean everything I say
Ten Healed of Leprosy
11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosymet him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
Psalm 28:1 (New Living Translation)
I pray to you, O Lord, my rock.
Do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you are silent,
I might as well give up and die.
14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.
Psalm 30:2 (New Living Translation)
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.
16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Psalm 107:1 (New Living Translation)
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
We can always find reason for gratitude before God. Matthew Henry, the famous Bible commentator, was robbed of his wallet once. He write in his diary that night the things he was thankful about:
First, that he had never been robbed before.
Second, that though they took his wallet, they did not take his life.
Third, because even though they took it all, it wasn’t very much.
Finally, because he was the one who was robbed and not the one who was robbing.
An old legend tells how a man once stumbled upon a great red barn after wandering for days in a forest in the dark. He was seeking refuge from the howling winds of a storm. He entered the barn and his eyes grew accustomed to the dark. To his astonishment, he discovered that this was the barn where the devil kept his storehouse of seeds. They were the seeds that were sown in the hearts of humans. The man became curious and lit a match. He began exploring the piles of bins of seeds round him. He couldn’t help but notice that the greatest majority of them said, “Seeds of Discouragement.”
About that time one of the devil’s helpers arrived to pick up a load of seeds. The man asked him, “Why the abundance of discouragement seeds?” The helper laughed and replied, “Because they are so effective and they take root so quickly.” “Do they grow everywhere?” the man asked. At that moment the devil’s helper became very sullen. He glared at the man and in disgust he said, “No. They never seem to grow in the heart of a grateful person.”
I remember this song from many years ago, from the Medical Mission Sisters and their collection Joy Is Like the Rain. HERE is Anthony Chow singing “Ten Men Cleansed.”
The Coming of the Kingdom of God
20Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
22Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23Men will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them.
Deuteronomy 11:16 (New American Standard Bible)
Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.
24For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
26“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
28“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
30“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32Remember Lot’s wife!
33Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”
37“Where, Lord?” they asked.
He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
Images courtesy of:
The Kingdom of God is within you. http://www.awordforthesoul.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Luke17_21.jpg
Please forgive me. http://s.myniceprofile.com/myspacepic/116/11668.gif
Thank You, Lord. http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=12290172
Yellow flower, photograph by Christy Kalayla Olson. http://powerfortoday.webs.com/luke_17_21_web.jpg
Lot’s wife cartoon. http://www.bifsniff.com/images/cartoons/lots-wife.gif