You Don’t Have to be a Leper

powerful prayer
  • You dont have to be a Leper
  • When I was a kid- we used to play this game called “cooties” and in the game- whoever had it, gave it to someone else. It was basically a game so we could chase girls and be mean to people we didn’t like- all you had to do was say “cooties” and someone was ostracized
  • Today- its not really much different. We treat people today like they have cooties, like whatever they have done is in someway going to infect us, and the truth is- its not. Why? Because Jesus
  • If you’ve felt like you’ve been unable to connect with other because of your past, today I want you to realize that there is nothing that you have done that can keep you from God and his people if you would receive Jesus
  • Mark 1:40-42 READ

1.“if you are willing” – Always stay humble

  • First, you must understand this about Lepersy- its about the worst condition that a person could get in the middle east at the time. No cure. No doctor to fix. If you had lepersy you were doomed to life of despair
  • One author said- “The hair falls from the head and eye-brows. The nails loosen, decay and drop off. Joint after joint of the fingers and toes shrink up and slowly fall away. The gums are absorbed and the teeth disappear. The nose, the eyes, the tongue and the palate are slowly consumed.”
  • At best it can be described as a slow horrible death
  • And this leper asks “If you are willing” he gets down on his knees and bows himself before Jesus and asks if he would be willing to heal this disease of his
  • Notice the lepers heart- it’s a heart of humble contrition. He is asking Jesus to show him mercy. To be the one who is going to set him free “If you are willing”
  • This leper knew that Jesus COULD heal him, he was just wondering if he WOULD heal him
  • An outcast. A man set aside by society that had not a friend to call on or a doctor to heal him
  • No demands- Just an ask in humbleness and mercy
  • Isn’t it interesting that the man didn’t demand his healing. He didn’t demand his touch.
  • almost as if he knew he wasn’t deserving of it- he nonetheless wanted the Savior to touch him
  • Psalm 20:4-5  May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose. 5 We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Whats the position of your petition? When you come to God, where is your heart at?
  • Do you go through a litany of your spiritual accomplishments as a means to influence the outcome of your prayers?
  • One of my favorite stories in the Bible
  • Luke 18:9-14 READ
  • “have mercy on me a sinner”  v 14 “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.””
  • The economy of Jesus is that those who come to him humbly will be elevated and those who come elevated will be humbled
  • Philippians 2:3Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
  • Your heart should be a condition that keeps a mindset of elevating others above yourself and not considering yourself better than others
  • The leper had the right heart- we should have the right heart. Stay humble- Depend on Jesus
  • 2.“you can make me clean” Always have faith in God
  • Whats great about the Leper is that he had belief
  • This is a story that is repeated throughout scripture- the idea that our faith works in conjunction with God’s power
  • In Matthew 9 there is a story of two blind men that come to Jesus to be healed-
  • Matthew 9:27-31 READ
  • In this story we see the same condition “have mercy on us”
  • 28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
  • Your Faith doesn’t make God do something, but God relishes the opportunity to show himself faithful.
    Scripture is clear that Faith Pleases God
  • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
  • Here’s what happen when Faith steps in
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Put your faith in God’s ability to do the miraculous
  • Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
  • You must believe that JESUS can do it. This leper knew, even though NO ONE could heal him JESUS COULD and wanted to get IN FRONT OF HIM to get his healing!
  • I truly believe that Jesus can heal anything. Cancer. Sickness. Paralysis. Pain. Emotional, physical, mental. I believe it all. Why doesn’t he do it every time? That’s a different sermon, but I believe He CAN do it
  • Do you believe that Jesus is the answer to your problem? Do you believe that he is the one who can restore your life?
  • No amount of sin can keep you from his forgiveness. No addiction is more powerful than his love. You cannot outrun his power. There is nothing that my God cannot do!
  • Friend, don’t ever think that you’re too far from God’s grace. His kindness leads to repentance
  • But you have to BELIEVE IT. No one can believe it for you- you must believe it for yourself
  • In college- jumping off a bridge- All my friends jumping- I was deathly afraid. I talked to them, see how they felt, saw them do it, they encouraged me. But I had to jump myself. I couldn’t drive away and rest in their experiences and think that I had done it myself. I had to believe

Here’s what Jesus will do

  1. “moved with Compassion” Always have compassion
  • “stretched out his hand and touched him” Action Our Savior is a savior of ACTION
  • There are times when Jesus asks people to go and do something “Go and dip yourself’ or times when God asks someone to do something “Take your son up on the mountain”
  • But many times, God is the one doing the action because of his COMPASSION
  • God is merciful and filled with Compassion for us. He knows our condition. He knows us
  • Matt 9:36 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary[a] and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
  • Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
  • Jesus many times through scripture shows his compassion upon people. Not because of who THEY are, but because of who HE is
  • This is part of the heart of the Gospel folks. God could have wiped us all out like he did in the days of Noah. But in his mercy, he’s given us the chance to spend eternity with him
  • I think sometimes people forget that- How great is it is that we get eternity to live.
  • Society spends billions of dollars trying to stay alive as long as possible when the reality is that you CAN live forever for FREE- through Jesus Christ!
  • Psalm 147:3  He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
  • Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
  • That’s the heart that God has for you! HE LOVES YOU
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Firstly, God has compassion for you- you must receive it
  • This lepers condition, his faith, put him in a place where he believed that Jesus WOULD have compassion on him and HE DID
  • Do you believe that? See, some people have a twisted view of God- I’m not no afraid of God- I have a healthy fear of him, but I am not afraid of him
  • Why? Because I know his heart! When you know the heart of the father, you don’t FEAR him
  • 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
  • This is an important component to a good relationship with the Father- understanding there is nothing to fear
  • I feared my dad for many years of my life- Over the past few years I have come to realize that there is nothing to fear- and it has changed my relationship with my father
  • Secondly– you should have compassion for others
  • Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
  • Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
  • Christians should be kind people because Christ has show us kindness
  • Every day you have an opportunity to show kindness to the people you live with, the people you interact with and the people you meet
  • 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;
  • Be courteous- This is a sentiment that has been lost in America
  • We have gone to having compassion for one another to “me first”
  • People don’t hold doors, let others go first, treat people with dignity and respect
  • It used to be that you were considered rude if you didn’t treat people with respect, nowadays its rare to see people showing respect and courtesy
  • A good manner is the best letter of recommendation among strangers. Civility, refinement and gentleness are passports to hearts and homes, while awkwardness, coarseness and gruffness are met with locked doors and closed hearts”. Our Deportment. 1881
  • Regardless of who you are interacting with- show some compassion. Have some love. Be nice to people.
  • This works in Church, it works at home. It works in your marriage. Never understand why men will do everything to please their boss or their employees and treat their family like trash.
  1.  ““he was cleansed” Always have his power
  • “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
  • I love that Jesus doesn’t use a lot of words to accomplish his will
  • “pick up your mat” “stretch out your hand” “ Go and leave your life of Sin” “Be cleansed”
  • Jesus speaks directly to the situation and upon this mans faith- he is completely healed
  • Remember- This guy had an incurable disease. One that could not be fixed or cured
  • And with JESUS he was HEALED
  • Psalm 103:2-3 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
  • Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
  • Malachi 4:2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
  • Our God is a healer. In this story- we see the power of Jesus to heal this man with leprosy
  • That term “I am willing, be cleansed” is a statement of POWER and the POWER TO HEAL
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Have you seen God perform his power in your life? IF not, why? God has the POWER but maybe you’re not appropriating it.
  • Often times, people have a power that is available to them, but they aren’t using it.
  • Pay attention- There is this guy with leprosy who comes to Jesus because he KNOWS that Jesus is the one who has the power and this guys knows it- so he asks Jesus to USE that power instead of just watching Jesus from a far and not receiving his power
  • 1 Corinthians 6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
  • 1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
  • Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him
  • Maybe you’ve forgotten that Jesus has power for you
  • He has the power to help you, forgive you, heal you, make you whole.
  • To change things in your life- to set you on the right path. To fix the mistakes that are your fault
  • Car stereo- Woofers, tweeters, amplifier, “loud” button
  • There is tremendous power in your prayers. Use them! God wants you to pray and believe and watch him move in POWER
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