Summer of Scandal 2
11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.
12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance
13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?
18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”
19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
It is has happened again, another black man killed by police in Atlanta Georgia Friday evening, shot in the back as he fled the scene, 27 year-old Rayshard Brooks the father of three girls 1, 2, and 8, and a 13 year-old stepson. I am tired church. I am tired of being tired. This thing has got to stop. I don’t think there is anything worse than being mistreated, discriminated against, abused, and killed because of the way that you look, the color of your skin. As if there is anything you can do about the way that you are born, and you should not have to. Raise your hand if you have ever been stopped for a…
DWB, Driving while black, I have…
WWB, Walking while black.
PWB, Parked while black.
SWB, Shopping while black.
BWB, Barbecuing or bird watching while black.
HWFWB, Hanging with friends while black.
SHWB, Sleeping at home while black.
DWPWB, Dating a white person while black.
GSWB, Going to school while black.
or a simple BBWP, Being black in the wrong place.
You see this is what privilege blinds people from seeing. Most have know idea what we go through on an average day. There is a great commercial on BET by P & G… But I must admit that I am thankful for those that are trying to understand. But like I said a few weeks ago until we get to the heart of the problem and change the hearts of men and women that treat others this way we will never see a change, that is why our summer of scandal is more important than ever.
Last week we began a series entitled a summer of scandal. And we talked about a scandal being something that people talk about. And I encouraged you to give the people in your circle of influence something to talk about. And if we’re going to give them something to talk about we need to give them Jesus. We talked about a man by the name of Zacchaeus, who was a tax collector that wanted to see Jesus, and because of his short stature he climbed a tree so that he could see him. Jesus came to the tree and told Zacchaeus to come down from the tree because he would be going to his house today. Immediately the people began to talk and say he is going to the house of a sinner. The scandal had begun. So we discussed that in order to have a summer of scandal we need to know what we believe, and we believe in the father who produced us, protects us, and provides for us. We believe in the son who preaches to us, parishes for us, and presents us. And we believe in the Holy Spirit that prepares us, produces through us, and prospers us. Well today we are in our second installment of the series and I want you to know in order to have a summer of scandal not only is it based on what we believe, it is based on how we behave, our behavior. Yes you heard me correctly. I said behavior because our behavior should cause a scandal.
The way we act should cause a scandal.
The way we interact with others should cause a scandal.
The way we carry ourselves should cause a scandal.
The way we treat one another should cause a scandal.
The way we are when we’re alone should cause a scandal.
So ask your neighbor is your behavior causing a scandal.
Is your behavior getting people to talk about Jesus?
Is your behavior drawing people closer to the Lord?
Is your behavior a good representation of the God that you serve?
So let’s take a look at the text. In the text today Jesus is traveling between Galilee and Samaria. There is a group of lepers, 10 to be exact that notice Jesus, and they cry out master have mercy on us. And when he saw them he said go show yourselves to the priest and when they went they were cleansed.
Somebody say scandal.
Jews did not associate with people who had contagious diseases. It was in the law. They were considered unclean. This is why they were outside of the city in the first place. They were not permitted in the city because they were lepers, but Jesus spoke to them anyway.
Somebody say scandal.
Jesus healed them anyway.
Somebody say scandal.
Jesus sent them to the priests because they had to be seen by the priest to prove that they were healed, and you know they told the priest who healed them.
Somebody say scandal.
But here is the crazy part. Out of the 10 that were healed only one came back to thank Jesus for healing him.
Only one out of 10 came back to give Jesus praise.
Only one out of ten had the sense to give Jesus praise for what he had done.
And the wild thing about it was, not only was he a leper but he was also a Samaritan. And Jesus asked where are the other nine. Has no one came to praise God except this foreigner? And I just have to ask on the way to where I’m going is there anybody in the room or online that is going to be the one out of ten to give God praise.
Is there anybody here or online that is going to be the one out of ten to give God glory?
Is there anybody here or online that is going to be the one out of ten to lift up the name of Jesus?
Is there anybody here or online that is going to be the one out of ten to magnify the Lord?
Is there anybody here or online willing to be the minority?
I told you this before, that something happens when you come into Jesus’ presence. Things change when you come into the presence of Jesus, and as you can see the behavior of the Samaritan leper changed when he came into the presence of Jesus. He began to praise a Jew for healing his body, and I am sure this caused a scandal.
So the relevant question is, what behaviors should we display in order to cause a summer of scandal. I will give you three behaviors to cause a summer scandal and then I am going home because me and my baby girl, my boo, my best friend and my number one fan have been celebrating our anniversary all weekend long, and we are not finished yet!
The first behavior that we display is our practice. Now I am pretty sure that I have shared this with you before, but a doctor has a medical practice. A lawyer has a law practice. An architect has an architectural practice. Mothers have a mommy practice. And the week before Father’s Day I want to encourage all of my fathers to have a daddy practice…
And as children of God we should have a Christian practice. Our practice is the way that we live our lives. And if we claim to be Christians we should be living our lives in a certain way. Meaning there should be a distinct difference between us and the world. We can’t watch what everyone else’s watches, and go where everyone else goes. And do what everyone else does. We are a peculiar people, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. Our practice is displayed in three ways.
First our practice is displayed in our patience. Patience is one of the most difficult things to master in the world. When I tell people that I’m a first grade teacher. Their first response is, you must have a lot of patience. And the truth of the matter is, I don’t, but I am working on it every single day.
We have to be patient because we are not going to get what we want when we want it all the time.
We are not going to become the person that God has called us to be over night.
We are not going to rise to the top of the company in a month. You’re not going to lose the weight you want to lose in a few weeks or even months it took years to put on the weight and it will take time to get it off. That’s why we used to sing that song, please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet.
You have to practice with patience.
First we practice with patience and secondly we practice with peace. We must live our lives in peace with our neighbors, family, and friends. And right now that is not an easy thing to do… If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves practicing with peace should be a no brainer.
We are not always going to get along.
We are not always going to agree.
We are not always going to be on the same side, but that does not mean that we cannot have peace.
We can disagree without being disagreeable.
It’s is okay to have a difference of opinion as long as you know that I am right and you are wrong. But seriously, we are all wired differently and our points of view are not always going to be in alignment but that does not mean that we should not have peace. That is why Paul told the church in Ephesus make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. We must practice with peace.
First we practice with patience. Secondly we practice with peace. Thirdly we practice with perseverance.
We keep on keeping on.
We don’t give up.
We don’t throw in the towel.
Because living this life is not easy, but it is definitely worth it. Getting saved is easy. We say it all the time. Getting saved is as easy as ABC, but living saved is a whole new ball game. That’s why you have to do it with perseverance.
When you get knocked down you get back up.
When you fall down you pick yourself back up.
When you fail you try again.
When you miss the mark you try harder next time.
When you make a mistake you learn from it. You persevere.
That which does not kill you only makes you stronger. We practice with perseverance.
So the first behavior you must display to have a summer of scandal is practice and the next behavior you must display to have a summer of scandal is prayer. In the words of my spiritual father Bishop Timothy J. Clarke, “If we are ever going to move forward we must do so on our knees.” We have to pray continually. We have to pray consistently. Prayer is not something that we just do in the morning, at night, before we eat a meal, or when we need something. Prayer is a continual conversation with our father. Let’s just have a little talk with Jesus… And we pray in three ways.
First we pray personally. We pray for our personal wants and desires.
We pray for our faith
We pray for our family
We pray for our fitness
We pray for our finances.
We pray that we don’t stray.
We pray for strength.
We pray for stability.
We pray for the things that we want and for the things that we need.
We pray personally!
First we pray personally. Secondly we pray people-minded prayers.
We pray for the people in our neighborhood
We pray for the people in our communities
We pray for the people in our city
We pray for the people in our county
We pray for the people in our state
We pray for the people in our nation
We pray for the people in our world
We pray for our leaders
We pray people minded prayers. It cannot and should not always be about you. You must pray people minded prayers
First we pray personally. Secondly we pray people-minded prayers, thirdly we pray persistently. We don’t stop praying because our prayer does not get answered in the first hour, day, month, or even year that we prayed it. We have to be persistent in our prayers and I think that the best way to accomplish this is to pray with expectation. I honestly believe that most of us don’t get our prayers answered because we don’t expect to get our prayers answered. This is when our faith truly comes into play. Do you truly have faith that God is going to do what you ask him to do? Because if you don’t you might as well not waste his time or yours by asking. You have to have expectations when you pray persistently.
So the first behavior that we need to display to have a summer of scandal is practice. The second behavior we need to display to have a summer of scandal is prayer. And the third behavior we need to display to have a summer of scandal praise. Isn’t that what the Samaritan leper did when he was healed of his leprosy. He came back and gave God praise. And I am pretty sure that there are some people in the room that owe God some praise this morning including the man on the microphone for something he’s already done for us.
Has he touched your body?
Has he made ways out of no ways?
Has he made the impossible possible?
Has he fed your family?
Has he given you a job?
Has he took you and made something beautiful our of your life?
Has he found you when you were lost?
Has he picked you up?
Has he turned you around?
Has he turned your mess into a message?
Has he turned your frown upside down?
Has he turned your test into a testimony?
Has he turned you from a victim to having victory?
Give him praise.
Praise him in the morning.
Praise him in the noon day.
Praise him when the sun goes down.
Oh I love to praise him.
I love to praise his holy name.
And we praise him in three ways.
First we praise him on purpose, meaning we do not accidentally or incidentally praise the God of our salvation. We do it on purpose. The leper purposely praised God because he wanted to thank him!
We do it because we want to.
We do it because he’s worthy.
We do it when we don’t feel like it.
We do it when we’re up.
We do it when we are down.
We do it on the mountain.
We do it in the valley.
Because we have to take every possible opportunity to give our God praise because from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same the name of Jesus is worthy to be praised.
So we praise him on purpose and then we praise him for a purpose. The leper praised God for the purpose of his healing. I truly believe that when the praises go up the blessings will come down. The more that we praise him. The more he will bless us. Now this is not the reason why we praise. It is just a benefit of praising him and I don’t know about you but if he never did anything for me I could not praise him enough for what he’s already done. But we praise God for a purpose.
So we praise him on purpose, we praise him for a purpose, and we praise him because it is our purpose. The soul reason that God created us in the first place was to give him worship and praise. Psalms 150:6 says, Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. So if you can inhale and exhale you should be giving God praise because that is our purpose.
So no matter what’s going on in our lives we need to give God praise because it’s our purpose.
No matter how we feel we need to give God praise.
Now matter what we’re gong through we need to give God praise.
No matter what the situation.
No matter what the circumstance.
In sickness and in health.
In want and in plenty.
In the good times and the bad times we have to give God praise because that is our purpose.
We have to PUSH.
We have to practice until something happens.
We need to pray until something happens.
We need to praise until something happens.
We have to push.
So as I close this out I was just wondering is there anybody here willing to behave in a manner that will cause a scandal.
Is there anybody here willing to behave in a manner that will give people something to talk about.
Is there anybody here willing to behave in a manner that will get people talking about Jesus.
Is there anybody here willing to behave in a manner that will show people the love of Jesus.
Is there anybody here willing to behave in a manner to show the world that Black Lives Matter.
Is there anybody here willing to behave in a manner to show the world that enough is enough.
In other words, do I have any scandalous Christians in the house today?
Do I have any scandalous saints in the house today?
That are willing to get down for the Lord.
That are willing to practice for God.
That are willing to pray to God.
That are willing to give praise to God.
Well stand to your feet.
Put your ten stringed instruments together and give God praise.
Because I don’t know what you came to do.
But I came to praise the Lord.
I came to clap my hands.
I came to stomp my feet.
I came to do my dance.
I came to do a victory lap.
I came to praise the lord.
And you know what else, I don’t care what people say about me.
I will dance like David danced and tell them I will get even more undignified than this while I’m giving praise to my God.
Because this joy I have the world did not give it and the world cannot take it away.
So let them talk about us.
Let them point their fingers at us.
Let them say whatever they want to say.
As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what we want them to do.
Because if we are behaving in the proper way it’s not us that they’ll be talking about. They will inevitably be talking about God and that’s what the summer of scandal is all about.
It’s all about….
The great I am!
The high and lofty one!
The great shepherd!
Jehovah Elyon, the Lord most high!
Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide!
Jehovah Nissi, the lord my banner!
Jehovah Rohi, the lord my shepherd!
Jehovah Rapha, the lord my healer!
Jehovah Sabaoth, the lord of hosts!
Jehovah Shalom, the lord our peace!
Jehovah Shammah, the lord is there!
Jehovah-Tisidkenu, the Lord our righteousness!
It’s all about God.
A summer of scandal.
Let’s give them something to talk about.
Let your behavior causing a scandal.