Category Archives: Uncategorized

Does Your Love Language Apply to Your Relationship With God?

Does our love language apply to our relationship with God?

Yes, it does! 

Gary Chapman, author of #1 NY Times Bestseller The 5 Love Languages, explains how here.

Don’t know what your love language is?  Not to worry, click here to take a simple test.    

Gary Chapman will be leading a Military Marriage Retreat at The Cove on June 27-29, 2014.  It’s free too!  Registration does not open until October of 2013.  Click here for information on Cove military scholarships.       

George Beverly Shea Turns 104 Today!

Join us in wishing George Beverly Shea a happy 104th birthday! 

For the past 60+ years, Bev Shea and Cliff Barrows have been the core of the musical team for Rev. Billy Graham’s Crusade ministry.

“I’ve been listening to Bev Shea sing for more than 50 years, and I would still rather hear him sing than anyone else I know.” — Billy Graham

Grammy award winning Bev Shea, has made a handful of appearances alongside his good friend, Cliff Barrows, during  SeniorCelebrations here at The Cove over the last several years.

When the two old friends get together, tales will be told and songs will be sung.  It is a delight to witness their walk down memory lane!

Watch this never before seen footage of Bev Shea and Cliff Barrows as they reminisce and sing during a 2011 SeniorCelebration at The Cove.

Join Cliff Barrows and Friends at The Cove in an upcoming SeniorCelebration. Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 for more information and to register.

Kendra Graham Bible Study…Joshua 8:1-10

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8: 1-10 

WHAT DOES IT SAY?  THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage.  DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts.  Do not paraphrase.  Use the actual words of the passage.  This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts.  If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

1a.  The LORD said, Do not fear or be dismayed.
1b. Take all the people of war with you.
1c. Go to Ai.
1d. I have given: the king of Ai, his people & land.
2a. Do to Ai & its king like Jericho, only take spoil & cattle.
2.b. Set an ambush for the city.
3. So J
oshua rose with all the people of war to go to Ai.
4
. He commanded, “Ambush the city, be ready”.
5
. They will come out after us, so we will flee.
6-7. Rise from your ambush. When you seize the city, set it on fire according to the Word of the LORD.
9-10. So Joshua spent the night there, rose early, mustered the people and went to Ai. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact.  What are the people doing that they should be doing?  What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow?  A promise to claim?  A warning to heed? An example to follow?  Meditate on these.  Ask God what lesson it is that He wants you to hear or learn.

1a.  God RENEWS our confidence in Him w/ the promises in His Word.
1b. God kindly RESTORES the ENTIRE nation, my past sin does not disqualify me for present service to the King of kings.
1c. God REDEEMS my past often times by wanting to replace THAT PLACE that has a testimony of failure with a testimony of His victory! (It HAD to be Ai before they moved on, or that past would beat them down time after time after time… festering in the back of their heads and hearts burdening them with shame…).
1c. God REMINDS His people that His plan and calling on their life has not changed in the least, and reminds ALL of them His promise still stands…. His promises have no expiration regardless of my actions.
2a.  God does NOT hold my past against me! Regardless of my past failure, my present obedience will end in BLESSING.  This time they get a material blessing too! Often times God wants to bless me, but I turn it down knowing I don’t deserve it.
2b.  God gives Joshua the plan.  Trust in God to lead you where and how you need to be led…. not necessarily where I want to be led.  God will always reveal His plan.  I need to be careful to do all (Joshua 1:8).
3.  God uses everyone to obtain the victory.  It is not up to one part of the body of Christ, but the body of Christ as a WHOLE.  YOUR PERSONAL OBEDIENCE MATTERS!
4. God’s instructions are clear. Don’t change them or add to them.
5. Joshua follows God’s plan for an ambush. Don’t try to use another plan or way than the one God reveals.
6-7. Wait… hold in position until it is time to go! HAVE PATIENCE in my holding pattern!8. Be careful to listen to and obey because it is the Word of the LORD… truly truly.
9-10:  When God asks me to do something, don’t delegate it out.  Rise early to obey.  ‘Lead by deeds not words’ (George Washington)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME? NOW APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush.  Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next.  Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

1a.Am I allowing God’s Word to give me confidence or do I tend to believe others and the words going around in my head instead?
1b. Have I settled to believe the lie that God cannot do anything with me because my life was or is a mess?
1c.  Do I know the promises God has spoken over ME?
2a. Do I think God is always trying to find new ways to beat me down with consequences over my past?  Do I have the courage and humility it will take for me to 1. obey God, and then 2. accept His blessing!?
2b.  Am I willing to ask God what His plan for me is?  Or do I just want Him to bless my plans for me?
3.  How and where is God calling me to obedience?  Do I realize my obedience matters A LOT to God and is a BIG DEAL???
4. Do I beg God for direction only when I get it I beg for another set of instructions that I am more comfortable with?
5.
Do I tend to make God’s plans more palatable to coincide with my own idea of common sense?  If I sprinkle my plans… with God’s plans… hmmm?
6-7. Why is it so hard to WAIT on God’s timing?
8. Am I careful with the instructions God has given me, and am I careful to do all He is asked, NOTHING MORE (We LOVE to do more… makes us look better, in our eyes, right? and careful not to pick and choose the things I like).
9-10.  Is it time that I acted on those things I have claimed for so long to believe?

LIVE IT OUT.
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage.
Is there a main theme to them?  Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason??Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart.  Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.
OBEY.  LET GOD DEAL WITH THE THINGS IN MY LIFE HE NEEDS TO DEAL WITH TO BRING ME INTO A RESTORED PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.  PRESS IN.  FACE IT. REFUSE TO RUN. God’s plans are right.

HOMEWORK:  Do the Three Questions on Acts 16:22-32  OR EXTRA CREDIT: 16:6-40!

Get stuck?  www.annegrahamlotz.com  and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Fun with Words

Looking for something fun to do over the weekend? 

How about making your own word collage.

To create ours, we pasted in all the words describing events and programs at The Cove in the month of March and voilà, here’s what came out.

Would be fun to create one with Scripture verses too! 

 

Try making your own.  Visit www.Wordle.net.

Paste a link to your creation in our comment section below so we can see yours too!

Enjoy your weekend!  God bless you.      

Kendra’s Bible Study…John 10: 1-10

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from John 10:1-10

WHAT DOES IT SAY?  THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage.  DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts.  Do not paraphrase.  Use the actual words of the passage.  This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts.  If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

1.   Truly truly I say to you.
2.  He who enters by the door is a shepherd
3.  He calls His own sheep by name
4.  He goes before them
5.    A stranger they will not follow  – the voice of others do not resonate like Jesus
6.    They did not understand
7.   Jesus said AGAIN, Truly truly, I say to you.
8.  All who came before are thieves, the sheep did not hear them
9.   I AM the door, ANYONE enter through me & be saved
10.  (a) The thief comes to: kill, steal, destroy.
10.  (b) I come that they have life, abundantly

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact.  What are the people doing that they should be doing?  What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing? Is there a command to follow?  A promise to claim?  A warning to heed? An example to follow?  Meditate on these.  Ask God what lesson it is that He wants you to hear or learn.

1.  What Jesus says is the TRUTH, trustworthy, and His message is to me.
2.   The shepherd has nothing to hide, he comes through the door to claim his own. No need to trick anyone into following, nothing to hide, all is in the open.
3.   Our names have not slipped His mind, he knows my name and calls it. God doesn’t just say, “Hey ya’ll there at the Cove Tuesday night, come on, let’s roll” He calls each of us individually, because He knows our names and each of us is important enough to Him to come to and call personally.  I am personally important to the King of kings.
4.   Jesus is not asking us to go anywhere that He is not present.  Jesus leads from the front, not poking and prodding us from the rear.  Jesus doesn’t lead from a big armchair saying, “OK, Judy, you go left 5 paces, then turn 38 degrees clockwise… Paula, you take 10 steps back, then make a sharp right turn.”  He leads presently by going before us.  Jesus does not “drive” us out either.  He leads us. There is a difference. God forces me no where, He beckons, and wants me to follow Him.
5.   No voice like the voice of Jesus penetrates and draws our hearts to follow.
6.   Sometimes we just don’t “get” what Jesus is saying, or where He is leading & it’s ok.
7.   I LOVE the fact that Jesus is patient and will explain it again, in another way.  I seem to process things slower, and don’t understand a lot, yet the love of Jesus is so evident in His patient continual explanations. Jesus does not give up on us.  Here, He is continuing to explain to a group of people (Pharisees) who don’t want to get, nor will ever get it, but it doesn’t matter to Jesus… He seems to give up on none of His creation!  How comforting.  8.   Other people, things and ideas will try to trick and deceive, but true discernment is found in Jesus.
9.   Jesus is THE WAY to be saved.  You may think that exclusive, I see that as very clear.
10. (a) Others will always try to take the place of Jesus, but will always be found out in the end to be a fraud in the end and will leave me wanting, hurt and torn up.
10. (b) A life of abundance depends on me following Jesus. Take this world, but give me Jesus.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME? NOW APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
Do not rush.  Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next.  Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

1.   Where do I go to find Truth (the news, a friend, a spouse, a church)?  Does Truth even matter to me at all? Is my life based on the Truth of God’s Word, or the lies of the world?
2.  When have I been tricked into believing someone or something is true only to let down later?  Have I taken time to read the Words of Jesus and realize He put it all out there and was faithful to every last thing He said He would do?
3.  Have I ever felt that I have fallen through the cracks of God’s mind?  Why is it so easy for me to say I am insignificant, when Jesus Himself has said He not only knows my name, but calls my name?? Did I realize my God was such a personal God? When has He called my name?  Are my eyes in His Word and my ears tuned to His voice?
4.  Am I easily led by the Word of God with Jesus in the lead or do I have to fight everything wanting God to bless my path instead of walking down His path that is already blessed? Do I require a bit for my mouth so I will go or is my heart willing?
5.  Did I know following the lead of Jesus will never fade out with the fad?
6.  When have I been in need of further clarity in God’s leading? Where do I go for clarity? Is God’s Word first or last on that list? Did I realize how patient a teacher God is?
7.  When has Jesus patiently waited for and taught me?  When have I refused to give others the patience that Jesus has and is giving me?
8.   Do I go to God’s Word when I need discernment?Where am I in need of discernment today?
9.  Is it easier for me to believe There is one heaven, but many roads to it”?  Why? How much more confusing would it be for us if there were many roads?
10. (a)  When have I been let down by what I thought would make me happy and whole, only to find out when I received it I either wanted more, or I realized it just wasn’t enough, all that I hoped for?
10. (b) Did I realize Jesus came to give me an abundant life? Did I realize the life I have been looking for is the life that is only found in Jesus?  On who or what is my life ruled by now? Ambitions for a better job, better kids, better house, better marriage….

LIVE IT OUT.
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage.
Is there a main theme to them?  Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason??Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart.  Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Jesus does not force me to follow Him, but when I follow where He leads, I will find the abundant life He created me to have.  Where is Jesus leading me, and do I have the ears to hear, the heart to listen and the faith to follow?

HOMEWORK:  Do the Three Questions on Joshua 8:1-10  OR EXTRA CREDIT: THE WHOLE CHAPTER!

Get stuck?  www.annegrahamlotz.com  and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Psalm 1:1

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Psalm 1:1 

What Does it Say?  FACTS
1a. Blessed is the man who does NOT walk in counsel of wicked
1b. Blessed is the man who does not stand in the path of sinners
1c. Blessed is the man who does not sit in the seat of Scoffers (mockers)

What Does it mean?  LESSONS
1a .A blessed man (a happy man) by God’s definition does not listen to or take advice from wicked men or women.  Wicked men and women are defined by those who are against God.  In this ever changing culture, there is a HUGE undercurrent of people avidly against God and anything His Word has to say.  Do not go to these people for advice on making life choices, family choices or business choices.  Their focus is not godly.  Wisdom comes from being choosy about who influences your life. 

1b. A blessed man by God’s definition does not stand in the path of sinners.  What does that mean?  Do not take up a lifestyle that is contrary to God’s Word thinking that you will be strong enough to say no and that you will only go “so far”.  I have heard people say that they have to experience what it is like to be a drunk so that they can witness to drunks.  This thinking is absolutely skewed.  Do not put yourself in positions, places or circumstances where making a godly choice is next to impossible. Live your life as an example of the light of Christ.  People are drawn to the Light, out of the darkness, if you become darkness, not only will your testimony become unnoticeable, you put yourself in a personal dangerous and precarious position.  We are to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:11-17).  

1c. Blessed is the man who does not sit in the seat of the scornful (mockers).  Do not make light of, scoff at or mock God’s holiness and His laws.  We have reached an incredibly low level in society when it seems like every sitcom, book and commentary takes time to mock the standard that God Almighty has put in place. If we respect God’s holiness and His laws, and we will be blessed and wise. 

What Does it Mean to me?  Applications
1a. Where do I go to get advice?  Do I prefer godly advice, based on the Word of God, or do I prefer worldly advice based on how I can get ahead?  What advice to I tend to follow?  What advice is easier to follow?

1b. Am I light to those around me of Christ or do I blend into the background hardly noticed because I’m just “one of the guys”? Do I want to be a light?

1c. Do I take God’s Word seriously?  How is God’s Word impacting my daily choices?  Is my life a testimony of respect or mockery toward God and His Word?  

Homework: Psalm 23:1-2 

If you are in the Asheville area we will be studying together for the next 7 weeks (on Tuesday evenings) Psalm 23.  This is a free woman’s Bible study!  Come join us.  I will try to keep things up to date online, but it’s nothing like being here at the Cove personally!  CD’s are also available in the bookstore for both the women’s studies (am & pm studies) if you can’t make it.  Call 828-298-2092 for more information about the CD’s or go online to read more about the Bible studies offered!

Happy New Year from The Cove!

Happy New Year from The Cove!

As you step into this new year, we pray you will feel God’s guiding presence. 

Following are a few of God’s promises to meditate on and hold near to your heart.      

God will show you the path of life.  Psalm 16:11

The Lord will guide you always.  Isaiah 58:11

God will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; He will counsel you and watch over you.  Psalm 32:8

You will hear Jesus’ voice and He calls you by name and leads you out. Jesus goes before you and you follow him, for you know his voice. You will by no means follow a stranger. John 10: 3-5

God bless you!

Photo courtesy of Patty Smith.

Merry Christmas from The Cove

 

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Cove!

2012 has been a year filled with God’s beautiful blessings here at The Cove.  We thank each of you for being a part of it!

May God’s blessings and His truest joys be with you this Christmas season and always.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  Luke 2:10-11   

Come see us in 2013!  Click here to see what’s going on next year at The Cove.

Over 20 Countries Represented at The Cove This Week

by Trevor Freeze

If you think the Jesus.net conference is just another weekend getaway, you should spend a couple of minutes talking with Grace Sumbillo and Mark Ty.

Traveling more than 9,000 miles from their homes in Metro Manila, Philippines, to The Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, N.C., Sumbillo and Ty know this is more than just another startup website project.

They know this five-day conference — with people from more than 20 countries represented — is more than just a chance to buy a new widget or learn about the latest Internet fad.

People in the Philippines are just like people in the United States. They’re hurting and searching.

And they oftentimes go online.

“It’s God moving,” Ty said. “It’s not really about us. It’s about God moving people to this website.”

In the Philippines, that website is HopeKayGod.net, their version of PeaceWithGod.net, the Internet Evangelism website launched by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in April of 2011.

“We chose ‘Hope’ because the word ‘Peace’ in the Philippines means not fighting,” said Ty, the web developer of the project. “We found ‘Hope’ is more universally known in the Philippines.”

HopeKayGod.net hasn’t even been up for two months, and barely any online advertising has been done, yet people are finding it. And they’re finding a video presentation of the Gospel of Jesus in the local language of Tagalog.

In the last week of November alone, more than 2,000 people stumbled upon HopeKayGod.net, with more than 75 making decisions for Christ and over 20 percent filling out a form to be contacted for more information.

“My background is in IT,” Ty said. “To be able to use my work skills in ministry is very exciting.”

And the Philippines’ project isn’t even officially launched yet. Along with Portugal, Mexico and two versions in the U.S. (one English, one Spanish), the BGEA is expanding its Internet Evangelism ministry.

And the potential is staggering.

In the past 20 months since launching more than 6 million people have visited PeaceWithGod.net, which features a clear video presentation of the Gospel.

More than 1.4 million people have indicated they made a decision to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. More than 185,000 have filled out a form requesting more information. The BGEA’s Internet Evangelism team then follows up with five discipleship e-mail lessons and as well as answering any other questions the new believers may have.

“Everyone who asks a question, we respond to them,” said Bob Hill, BGEA’s Director of Strategic Planning and Project Management.

The challenging task of responding to all the inquiries has been met by a volunteer base of 270 trained e-counselors and discipleship coaches. Soon that number will nearly double as training qualified online coaches continue to expand.

But in the Philippines that number currently sits at two.

Sumbillo is in charge of the e-coaches for HopeKayGod.net and while her two trained e-coaches are very efficient, she is in the process of training 10 other e-coaches.

She hopes to have them up and running by February, when HopeKayGod.net plans to officially launch around a Hillsong United concert at Araneta Collesium in Manila that will help promote the online ministry.

“We’re surprised that even without much promotion people have found the website.”

Questions range from general curiosity about God to specific ones, such as “Why does God allow bad things if He loves me?”

“It’s an exciting ministry,” said Sumbillo, describing how a Philippine woman living in Canada found the website and prayed to receive Christ. “It’s just the work of God.”

BGEA’s work in the Philippines dates back to 1977. A young 15-year-old by the name of James Tioco was one of the 412,000 people who came to the 1977 Billy Graham Crusade at Rizal Park in Manilla.

Tioco was one of more than 22,000 who came forward to accept Christ into his life and has been on fire to spread the Gospel ever since. From Operation Christmas Child involvement to 2006 leadership roles in both My Hope Philippines and the Franklin Graham Festival in Manila, Tioco has fanned the flames of evangelism in his country.

Then he heard about using the Internet to reach people for Jesus and he was all in.

Quickly a partnership with the Philippines formed and a site was built using the Tagalog language.

“I can see a lot of churches using this for their evangelistic ministry,” Ty said. “What I like about this website is you’re looking at real people talking.”

And that’s part of what the Jesus.net conference is all about. Getting people together, who are in some form or another under the Jesus.net umbrella, to talk about their specific online ministry and to learn from each other.

“It gives people an opportunity to all get on the same page,” Hill said. “It’s a movement. We just have to make sure we’re all moving the same direction.”

Click here to bring your ministry group to The Cove for a conference or retreat.

Three Reasons to be Thankful

by Will Graham, Executive Director, The Cove

As I reflect back on the past year, there is so much for which I am very thankful. I’ve been blessed with opportunities around the world to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ. I’ve seen miracles take place this year as I’ve watched people place their eternal faith in the hands of Christ.

Yet, as I ponder the amazing love of the Lord, it strikes me that so often we view our salvation as commonplace. We have received this unbelievable gift, and rather than bursting with thankfulness and jumping with joy we tuck it into the back of the dresser like a pair of socks.

Let’s take a moment to focus on the topic of thankfulness. Luke—the physician—recorded this event in the life of Jesus, showing why we ought to be thankful.

Found in Luke 17:11–19, this is the story of Jesus healing ten lepers. Once they were healed, the ten men ran off excited. But only one came back to praise God for what had happened. Just as these men were physically healed of their leprosy, we receive salvation (or spiritual healing) from Jesus that warrants our gratitude.

First, we can be thankful that Jesus came to us (vv. 11–13). The text says that Jesus went through Samaria and Galilee, both of which were made up of people stigmatized by society. Samaritans were considered unclean people. Galileans were misfits and rogues, and yet Jesus made the effort to go to them. They did not have to go to Jesus. Similarly, God came down from heaven some 2,000 years ago in order to redeem mankind.

Second, we need to also be thankful because Jesus hears our cries (v. 14). The text says the men yelled out to Jesus because they were lepers, and the law required them to stay at a distance in order to prevent infecting others. But Jesus stopped and answered their cry for help. This is significant. These men realized their own situation—that they were very sick and they could not help themselves. If they could have, they would have already done so. They realized that only Jesus could help them and so they cried out to Him. Likewise, when we cry out to Christ for our salvation, it is because we understand that we are unable to save ourselves. We are spiritual lepers in need of healing.

Finally, we need to be thankful that Jesus can cleanse us and make us whole (v. 14). Jesus told the men to go show themselves to the priests, and on the way, the men were healed. They exercised faith in Jesus—they believed He could heal them—and showed obedience as they did exactly what Jesus commanded them to do. Only Jesus has the ability to forgive sin and cleanse us spiritually, as He cleansed the lepers physically.

We should be thankful that we serve a God who can heal, cleanse and save – physically and spiritually – and who comes to us and invites us into communion with Him. When we give thanks to God, He is honored and glorified (vv. 15-19). The Bible says that only one man came back to thank Jesus, and when he did, he was honoring God.

We’re entering the holiday season and things will begin to get hectic, but I encourage you to be sure that you aren’t like the other nine. Please take the time to come back to God and thank Him for what He has done for you. He came down, He heard your cry, and He answered it by healing your soul. My friends, we have every reason to be thankful!