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Faithlife

One More Step

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As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

One More Step

Walking. We use the term walk or walking to signify so many things. But in the end they all mean to advance or move in some way. During the time of our text, modes of transportation were very limited. You had ships and boats to take you by water and for land, you had horses, camels, donkeys and walking. Jesus and the disciples typically walked, so they would go through numerous town and villages getting to their various destinations. This is how and why Jesus encountered so many people.
The text says “As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem”. Jesus was on a mission and he knew what his mission was. In a nut shell, Jesus came to this earth, born of a virgin, in the form of frail, fallible man to die.
He-came-to-die-for-our-sins.
Now there was much he did in the short three years of his active ministry, but his ultimate purpose for coming, was to die for our sins, to redeem us to the Father, to bridge the chasm of separation that occurred with the fall of Adam, and he was on his way to Jerusalem to do just that. But
- he was still working along the way,
- he was still healing along the way,
- he was still helping people along the way,
- he was still being who he was along the way.
While you’re on your way to your ultimate destination, you have work to do. Don’t get so focused on the final goal, you miss the blessings on your journey. Life is a journey, not a destination. Heaven is your destination, but life is your journey. While you yet live, you have work to do, you have learning to do, you have souls to win for the Kingdom of God.
On your walk, there will be opportunities to help others. Don’t miss those. We can get so tied up in our own everyday lives--in what’s happening to us, we can’t see what’s happening around us. There’s a saying, you can’t see the forest for the trees. When you’re standing on the ground, all you see is tree trunks, but if you can get elevated, if you can get to a place where you can look down from above; you can see a beautiful forest, you can see the colors, you can see the horizon, you can see the treeline and you can see the beauty of God’s creation.
When you can get out of self and see past where you are, when you can look beyond your situation, when you can forgive the person who wronged you…only then can you find the beauty, only then will you see the blessing;only then will you find the peace that surpasses all understanding; and only then will you find the good that God is working for you. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
But you have to find it, you have to work for it, sometimes you have to take it; no one can do it for you. And know this, Satan is doing everything he can to keep you from finding your path, to keep you from finding your blessing. He is working hard to keep you so bogged down, so depressed, so busy, so broke you can’t do what God has called you to do. His life’s mission is to steal, kill and destroy you and your future. The very darkness itself is seeking you out to overtake you. BUT GOD.
Every one of you has been called by God, to do something, every one of you has a gift, you may have more than one, and because you do, every one of you must find a way to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. There is a call on your life, yes even you. But you have to find the way you are to walk it out. Don’t count on your walk being like anyone else’s. When God made you he broke the mold and who you are is great and wonderful and you are fearfully and wondrously made. That ought to make you smile. Put your hand up like you’re looking in a mirror and tell yourself.
I am a child of the Most High God therefore
I am beautiful, I am handsome,
therefore I am beautiful, I am handsome, I am talented
I am talented
I have gifts and abilities — that are useful — and necessary — in the body of Christ
I can do all things — because Jesus — is my help
He protects me — He loves me
Jesus was a compassionate, loving, caring man and brother and friend and the Son in the Godhead, who came to save dead and dying men and women from the pit and grip of hell. We were dead in trespasses and sin. Jesus was on his way to die. And not just to die, but to be crucified on a cross, a death reserved just for the worst of the worst criminals. He was a man who knew no sin, yet he became sin for us so that we could live. What a man, what a friend, what a God.
And because He loves me — I know that — I am worthy of love
I am worth waiting for
I am worth dying for — so Jesus did
Sometimes you have to encourage yourself. There won’t always be others around to pump-you up and you have to do like David did and encourage yourself in the Lord.
Jesus was a compassionate, loving, caring man and brother and friend and the Son in the Godhead, who came to save dead and dying men and women from the pit and grip of hell. We were dead in our trespasses and sin, so Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, to die. And not to just die, but to be crucified on a cross, a death reserved for the worst of the worst criminals. He was a man who knew no sin, yet he became sin for us so that we could live. What a man, what a friend, what a God.
When something or someone good is coming to town, news spreads; quickly. They didn’t have TV or the internet or social media or even phones. What they had was word of mouth. Albeit not as far reaching, but word of mouth is still an effective tool to get the word out about things that are happening.

The fact that Jesus was coming through town was big news. He was just passing through on his way to Jerusalem and before he could get into town, someone was requesting something from him. He hadn’t had a chance to find a place to stay, to get any rest, to get something to eat, to wash the dust off his feet, maybe take a load off. The text says “he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria”, so he had not even gotten into town before someone was calling his name.
Man, he couldn’t catch a break. I’m sure he was tired, and hungry, his feet probably hurt and for sure they were dusty and dirty. Remember, while he was fully God, he was also, fully man. He was walking through villages, on dirt roads and someone wanted something before he could even gather himself. Have you ever been in such demand you could barely catch your breath before someone else wanted something else from you? It can be exhausting.
I can remember times when my sons were little boys, they would call me so much, one time I told them to stop calling me mom, they looked at me confused and asked, what to call me, I replied, don’t. I was tired, I was by myself and I didn’t want to hear mommy one more time. Obviously it didn’t work, but I was hoping. Isn’t it good to know God doesn’t get tired of being called? He’s always at the ready to provide us with everything we need and even some of our wants.
These lepers were outside the village, not because they just happened to be, they were outside the village because they had to be. It was unlawful for them to be in the company of the well because leprosy was a very contagious disease, so they were relegated to a life of separation, a life away from others. They couldn’t even be with their families, but they could hang together. Birds of a feather…you know the rest.
And if that separation wasn’t bad enough, when they did have occasion to be around others, they had to go through the streets shouting, UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN. The people believed that leprosy was the result of and punishment for sin, they believed it was a sign of God’s displeasure of their sin, so He struck the person with leprosy.
What if you had to go through life shouting out your sickness or disease?
What if you had to go through life shouting your sin or wearing it on your chest like a scarlet letter?
What if you could only be with people who had the same disease or sickness or sin you have?
How do you recover? How do you get well? How do you do better? If your problem is weight, how do you establish better eating habits if you can’t be around people who know how to manage food.
If your problem is managing finances and being poor, how do you learn to manage your finances if you can’t be around people who are good at managing money? You can’t get better hanging with broken people. Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? We all need some help sometimes. I need you, you need me.
But these ten lepers had no choice, it was the law. The law was banishing them to a life of aloneness and being alone was and is not a good thing because we were meant to be relational people. God said, it is not good that man be alone. For these lepers Jesus was their only hope for a life of relationship and so they cried out; they kept their distance, but they cried out; they obeyed the law, but they cried out; they stayed together, but, they cried out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”. They didn’t ask him to heal them, they ask for mercy.
Sometimes we just need to ask for mercy. We may want healing, we may want money, we may want things, but what we really need is mercy. These ten men ask Jesus for mercy and in the midst of God’s mercy, they got their healing and more.
Jesus heard them, some times all we want is for someone to hear us. We don’t need you to fix us, we don’t need you to solve the problem, we don’t need a referral or a handout—we just need for someone to hear us.
And Jesus did and when he did, “He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” Here is Jesus performing another miracle yet another way, he simply spoke and told them, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” Jesus didn’t say you are healed, he didn’t talk about their faith, he didn’t tell them to go somewhere and wash, he didn’t touch them, the text didn’t even say he went toward them—he simply said go show yourselves to the priest.
Why would he tell them to show themselves to the priest? What was the significance of the priest? Well, the priest was the one to pronounce they were clean and able to reengage with the community, the priest could clear them and so it was ok for them to return to their family, they get their lives back.
There was two things at work here, first these lepers had to believe that something was going to happen. We know that, because there was no further discussion. They didn’t question Jesus, they didn’t try to figure out what was going to happen; they didn’t try to figure out how it was going to happen and they didn’t ask why were they going to the priest. It was obvious at the time they still had leprosy, but that didn’t matter to them.
They knew the law, they knew the priest was the one who would say they were clean, so the next thing they had to do, was—they had to be obedient. Jesus spoke, then the Scripture says, “And as they went...
They had to walk, they had to take a step, one step at a time. You have to take a step because you never know if your next step will bring you into your healing; you never know, if your next step will bring you into your destiny; you never know if your next step will bring you into your breakthrough.
Abraham had to take a step when God told him to leave his land and family and go to a land He would show him - and God blessed him abundantly.
Moses took a step when he went before Pharoah to tell him, “Let my people go.” and a nation was freed.
Noah took a step when he began building the ark and his family was spared from the great flood.
Boaz took a step, when he was Ruth’s kinsman redeemer and he was the grandfather of king David.
David took a step when he faced Goliath and God gave him the victory.
Joshua took a step when he went into the Promised Land as a spy, came back with a good report and he became the leader to take the people into the Promised Land.
The priest took a step when they placed their feet into the Jordan River and it stopped upstream allowing the people to cross on dry land.
Esther took a step when she went before the king and her people were saved from Haman’s attempted annihilation.
Esther took a step when she went before the king to save her people when Haman wanted to kill them all. You never know if you are where you are, “For such a time as this”. Don’t ever think that you are insignificant, you matter to the kingdom of God.
You never know if you are where you are, “For such a time as this”. Don’t ever think that you are insignificant, you matter to the kingdom of God.
Nathan took a step, when he called David out for his sin with Bathsheba and a king repented.
Daniel took a step when he defied the king’s order to eat his food and drink his wine and God gave him great favor with the king.
The three Hebrew boys took a step when they walked around in the fiery furnace and came out when the king called them and a nation was turned to the true and living God.
Mary took a step when she allowed herself to be used by God and she birthed the Savior of the world.
The disciples took a step when Jesus invited them to follow him and they changed a world.
John the Baptist took a step when he cried in the wilderness, “REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND.” and he baptized Jesus.
Ananias took a step and went and got a young, educated, zealous man named Saul, shared the message of God with him and he received Christ as his Savior, was baptized and we now know him as Paul, the person who wrote 13 books of the New Testament
There are so many more, but what you need to know is a marathon starts with the first step. You have to be willing to take the first step.
You have to be willing to take the first step. You can be afraid, but you have to take the first step. Y and the next and the next. You keep stepping because you never know what the next step is going to bring you to. You never know what your next step is going to bring someone else to
You can be afraid, but you have to take the first step. But God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind.
You can be unsure, but you have to take the first step. And know this, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his”—you are not alone
The Lord is my light and my salvation—step
Whom shall I fear—step
The Lord is the strength of my life—step
Of whom shall I be afraid—step
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell—step
Though an host should encamp against me—step
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
My heart shall not fear—step
Though war should rise against me—step
In this will I be confident—step
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
One thing have I desired of the Lord—step
That will I seek after—step
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord—step
All the days of my life—step
To behold the beauty of the Lord—step
And to enquire in his temple—step
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me-step
In his pavilion—step
In the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me—step
He shall set me up upon a rock—step
And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me—step
Therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy—step
I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord—step
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice—step
Have mercy also upon me—step (You gotta be like the lepers and cry out)
And answer me—Then when he answers, you gotta step
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face—step
My heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek—step
Hide not thy face far from me--step
Put not thy servant away in anger--step
Thou hast been my help--step (You gotta know that your help comes from the Lord)
Leave me not--step
Neither forsake me, O God of my salvation--step
, O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me—step (you gotta leave the nest some time) but wait
Then the Lord will take me up—step
Teach me thy way, O Lord—step
And lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies—step
Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies—step
For false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. Oh they’re going to talk about you, they’re going to run you down, they’re going to scandalize your name—but you, you’re going to keep stepping
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living—step
Wait on the Lord—step
Be of good courage—step
And he shall strengthen thine heart—step
Wait, I say, on the Lord—step
You ought to be in an all-out run now, but your life begins with the first step and the next and the next. You keep stepping because you never know what just one more step is going to bring you to. You never know what your just one more step is going to bring someone else to, just one more step could take you into your place in the Kingdom of God.
You can and the next and the next. You keep stepping because you never know what the next step is going to bring you to. You never know what your next step is going to bring someone else to
You can and the next and the next. You keep stepping because you never know what the next step is going to bring you to. You never know what your next step is going to bring someone else to
And as they went, the lepers, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
What do you need to be cleansed of today? I’m sure yours is not going to be leprosy, but what weight or sin has beset you that you need to be cleansed of. What is it you need to walk out and walk off. Don’t give up and don’t give in—your next step just might be the one that holds your freedom, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
The doors of the church are open, will you step into your freedom today, will you step into your destiny.
Some of you may have already accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, but you haven’t been walking in your calling, you’ve been afraid to step out, well I’ve got some news for you. Yesterday was your last day of being afraid, yesterday was your last day of being unsure. If you know you haven’t been walking in the fullness of what God has called you to do, I want you to take one more step and come to this altar today. If you’re watching online and don’t have a local church, take one more step and find a church where you are so you can begin your journey here on earth.
As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
Just one more step!
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