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Thankful for the Crumbs

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OPEN WITH VIDEO, “Thank You God”

Before I go into today’s sermon, I wanted to start by reminding all of us about something on my heart. As we are approaching this coming Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to revisit something that I have said somewhere over the past few years, and that is, that we shouldn’t just let this day come and go and treat it is as “ordinary”, but rather that we should actually stop and reflect and give thanks to God for something, or “somethings” in our lives that we are actually thankful for. I believe that we all too often, regard each and every day the same way, “Oh well, I will do ‘this’, or ‘that’ another day”, or “Sometime later, I will get around to doing ‘this’, or ‘that”! And we never stop and give thanks for all of the blessings that each day affords us!

My point is that each and every day is a gift from the Lord and we should treat each day as such.
Not take it for granted and look upon it as if we can predict or control the number of days that we have ahead of us!
In fact, the Bible warns of frivolous thinking like this, as tells us, “Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”
We are told within the Bible, to neither worry about next day and what it will bring, nor assume that there WILL BE a next day and then plan our lives according to that assumption.
Don’t PLAN on what tomorrow will bring, but also, don’t WORRY about what tomorrow will bring!
Jesus, Himself, told us this, “So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.”
And it was the great and wise Solomon, later in his life, who reminds us that each and every day is a gift from God; a gift that God wants us to enjoy, but also to appreciate and be thankful for.
An appreciation that is to be shown by our making the most of that day.
I don’t usually use or read from the Message translation of the Bible, but for the purpose of what I am saying to you right now and the emphasis upon the “DAYS” that God has given to each one of us, I will read this passage from the Message translation.
It is from and it says, “Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange For the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each day! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.”
You see, Solomon is saying to us, that each day is God’s gift and whatever we do during that day, we should do with zeal and to the best of our abilities, as a way of saying thank you to God for that day, by glorifying His name with that day!
Paul said about the same thing in , where he said, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
My point is this, IF we are all here and able to participate in this coming Thanksgiving Day, then we should be embracing that day for what it is and what has been designated and set aside for, “GIVING THANKS”!
But even more importantly, let’s don’t relegate our thankfulness to this one day of the year and celebrate it only then! Make this the desire of your heart each and every day of your life! Listen to what the Bible tells us about this very subject!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:15 NLT
15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Colossians 4:2 NLT
2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Philippians 4:6 NLT
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
And finally ,
Psalm 100:4 NLT
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.

This morning I want to start off by reading with you, a a very well known passage from the Bible. And in doing so, we will be looking at one of the very things that should be at the top of each of our lists that we thank God for each and every day of our lives!

If you have your Bibles here with you this morning, would you please turn with me to the Gospel of .
Matthew 15:21–28 ESV
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Is everyone familiar with this passage already?
It is a fairly common account that is taught from the Word.
So, right out of the gait, the one thing that should just jump out to all of us, is that of the FAITH of this woman.........RIGHT?!
I mean, if you have never read this passage before and this is your first time, or if you are a Biblical scholar and this is your 300th time of reading this passage, in either case, the issue of FAITH stands out to the reader!
And it is FAITH, that we are dealing with this morning. FAITH is one thing that every believer in Jesus Christ should be thanking God for, each and every day of their lives!
Faith, comes from the Greek word, “pistis”, means, what can be believed, a state of certainty with regard to belief. It is to believe to a complete trust.
When Jesus said to His disciples, “Have FAITH in God”, He wasn’t telling them to have some incremental, partial belief in God. He wasn’t telling them to have a slight hope in who God is.
No, rather Jesus was saying to have a COMPLETE and TOTAL and UNWAVERING belief in God and who He is!
Yahweh is the great and absolute, “I AM”, not the paltry and mediocre “I MIGHT”, “I’LL TRY”, or “I’M NOT SURE”!
And too many people approach God with their wants and needs, much like people used to approach the toy from years ago, the “Magic 8 Ball”. (Do you guys remember those things?)
The Bible tells us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently search for, seek out and look for the favor of Him in their lives.
And yet, those who are the diligent seekers of the favor and blessings of God, do not gain His favor just because they say, “I’m coming after you God”.
The same passage in where we find the rewarding favor of God on those who seek him, tells us that the prerequisite for going after God and gaining His unlimited favor and blessings and power, is as follows.
Hebrews 11:6 NLT
6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
God rewards those who have FAITH and believe that He is, the great “I AM”, Yahweh, El Shadai and that He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to His mighty power at work within us!
And in order for His mighty power to be at work within us, we must have FAITH and believe in Him!
ONE: God moves on our behalf, in accordance to His mighty power at work within us

In order for each and every person who has, or ever will come to salvation through Jesus the Christ, it could only happen through the gift of FAITH that comes by the immeasurable GRACE of God to each one of us, as His Holy Spirit draws and convicts the heart of the individual!

So, you and I start our walk with the Lord through FAITH. Not our own faith, but a FAITH that was gifted to us, by God.
We have natural faith that we operate in every day of our lives.
Faith in the laws of physics that hold and sustain the universe.
We live in natural faith and operate in it without much thought.
For instance, we have faith in the cars that we drive to get us safely to where we are going.
We have faith in the airplanes that we fly in.
We step onto the elevators of high rise buildings that go up 300 feet and have faith in their design and their safety.
We put out faith into certain political figures to act on our behalf and do what is best for this nation.
The point is, we act out of and live in natural faith each and every day of our lives.
And yet, this faith that I mention, is only natural faith (carnal faith) and not spiritual faith. Our natural faith is not able to save us eternally.
Natural faith is limited by what we can see and understand. Supernatural (spiritual) faith is not bound by what we see.
The African impala antelope can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 33 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall.
Spiritual faith, according to the Bible is as follows, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"
The faith that is given to each and every believer through the grace of God for their salvation, is found in only one source. As tells us, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
A young Colombian Girl who received a New Testament in her school. She read the New Testament until one day her father caught her reading it...and told her not to read it anymore because it was full of lies and fantasy.
But the girl kept on reading until one day her father came home unexpectedly found her with the NT grabbed it from her hands and put it in his pocket.
The father went off to work where he was a mining engineer. Several hours later sirens went off in the community there had been a cave in at the mine. The father was trapped in the mine. The rescue workers took 5 days to finally reach the men, but it was too late. All 31 men died, including the father of this little girl.
Curiously, workers found the man clutching the NT between his praying hands. When they opened the front cover they read a note: "To my daughter: Keep reading this NT, it is true and right, and I will see you one day in heaven."
Then they turned to the back page where the father had signed the commitment card after having prayed and given his life to Jesus.
But that was not the end of the story. Turning the page, there were signed the names of the other 30 workers.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
It is upon hearing the Gospel Message, the living breathing words of Jesus Christ, that the life giving spiritual FAITH is imparted into the heart of the individual,as they are drawn by God’s Holy Spirit.
And once that FAITH is imparted into their heart, then belief and confession bring about their eternal salvation!
, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
So spiritual FAITH, that is, life giving FAITH, only comes through the GRACE of God and it is not of our own doing, or of our own natural abilities. “For by grace you have been saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
The revelation of who Jesus is, comes only by Holy Spirit. Just as when Peter had his great revelation of Jesus and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” and then Jesus said that this knowledge didn’t come from head knowledge, but rather it was a divine revelation.
Paul said in , “no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.”
In fact, it was Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, who had all of the head knowledge of God that a person could have and yet he was blind to the truth of Jesus, until he received a direct and divine revelation, which imparted spiritual faith into his heart!
That is what we see in this passage in , from the Syrophoenician woman.
She has a profound revelation of who Jesus is and a belief in what Jesus could do!

When we come to the this account in , it’s important that we realize where we are in the life of Jesus and His earthly ministry, as this is key in this account with the Canaanite woman and what happens.

Jesus is at a crucial and pivotal point in His ministry to the Jewish people. In fact, at the end of chapter 13, we find that He is being rejected by His own people, even from His own home town and of His own family!
And because of the disbelief and of no true SPIRITUAL FAITH in the hearts of the people for who He was, the Bible says that while He was at His home town, He could only do a few miracles and then He left there.
Our lack of SPIRITUAL FAITH, hinders the movement of Holy Spirit.
All too often, we are operating out of our natural/carnal faith while we are praying for a SUPERNATURAL miracle and because of this, we see nothing changing in what we are praying about.
The Bible says in , “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting.” And then it says, that a person who asks God for something without FAITH, “must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, because he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
So, here we find Jesus and His disciples in the region of Tyre and Sidon (a.k.a. gentile area) and look at what happens!
James 1:6 NLT
6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
Matthew records for us that this woman, a Caananite woman no less (Matthew stressing this because of the fact that these people were ancient gentile enemies of the Jews and pagans), comes out of nowhere and runs after Jesus!
In the Bible day and age, it was unheard of for a woman to run out, publicly, after a man, or a group of men!
You see, you are not just talking about a WOMAN, but you are talking about a MOTHER!
The bond between a mother and her child, is a God-given bond and it is strong and it is powerful!
A mother’s protective instinct will drive her to the gaits of hell itself and back, to protect her child!
And so this gentile woman runs out of nowhere, CRYING out before everyone around, saying, “Son of David Have mercy on me! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
Calling Jesus, “Son of David”, shows that she has some belief in who He was, because this was a messianic title!
Jesus didn’t respond to her at first.
Look at who did respond. The disciples, as they were saying to Jesus, “Tell her to go away. She is bothering us with all her begging.”
You can see here that the hearts of the disciples were not there yet and they were not ready to expand the kingdom, because they were still prideful and looking out for their own interests.
What did they mean, “She is bothering US with all of her begging”?
I don’t see her running out and crying: “Peter, or James, or John, or Bartholomew, or Thomas, or Simon, or Matthew, or any of the other disciples!
No, the fact was, she came out of nowhere crying out to JESUS and no one else!
That is what saves you, that is what delivers you and that is what heals and restores your life; running after and crying out to JESUS and no one else!
So, Jesus states His purpose and says, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”
So this woman has openly put her own life and reputation on the line, by running out after these men (and Jewish men none the less), which was not condoned for a woman back then, but now she is being rejected by the very man she has sought out for help!
Look what happens next. She runs, even more boldly right up to Jesus and the disciples and drops to her knees, as a sign of surrender and WORSHIP to Jesus.
And this time, the title that she addresses Jesus by is even more of a step of faith and acknowledgement, as she says, “LORD, help me!”
And still, Jesus stops her and denies her request, by saying, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
Now before you take this as Jesus just openly bashing and berating this woman publicly, you need to understand a couple of things about His statement.
First, in that day and time, calling someone a “dog” would be a contemptuous and deadly insult!
The Jews spoke of and often referred to the gentiles as “dogs”; that is, unclean scavengers off of the street.
When Jesus said what He said to the woman, you can imagine the look of LOVE and COMPASSION on His face as He spoke to her.
We know and understand that the facial affect and the body postures that we use when we talk to people, can drastically change the way that something is perceived by that person.
The other thing that we need to realize about what Jesus says here to the woman, is that He doesn’t use the word for “dog” as one would for a street dog, but rather, Jesus uses the term, “kynaria”, which refers to a little dog, or more accurately, a house pet.
A dog, none the less, but still an affectionate term to depict it.
The main point being that Jesus and His earthly ministry was for bringing the kingdom of God to the Jews first and then gentiles.
Also, it is important to note that Jesus was setting this whole situation up to test the level of FAITH of the woman,both for her account, but also for those watching. (i.e the DISCIPLES!)
Now look at what the woman says next, as this amazing. She says, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the crumbs that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
Do you see what she has just said and done?
She has openly put her self and her reputation in danger by running after this man, not to mention calling this JEW, “LORD”, before other gentiles, who hated the Jews, in her home town!
But, she then HUMBLES herself even lower unto Jesus and accepts the term “dog”, (even as affectionate as it may have come across, being called a dog is still derogatory)and she acknowledges it and admits it, by saying, “that’s true Lord”.
But what she says next, is PARAMOUNT in the FAITH and BELIEF of who Jesus was and is.
She said, “but even the little dogs are allowed to eat the crumbs that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
Let me paraphrase this and make it more relevant for all who are listening to this message.
Here is the Messiah, Jesus, who has been openly rejected by His own people, His own home town and even His own family and (ultimately even His own best friends, the disciples), who has this woman, a person of a nation that is a long standing enemy of the Jewish people and pagans, none the less, begging Jesus for a miracle.
He has told her that He can’t help her, which, it is possible that He said it the way that He did, to test her faith in Him, before He moved on her behalf. (How many of you know that sometimes, we must move in FAITH, before the miracle will take place?)
The lepers had to start walking back to the priests, still leprous, before they were healed, the blind man had to go and wash in the pool of Siloam before we received his sight and lame man at the gait of the temple, had to stand on his feet and start trying to walk, to receive the miracle!
Sometimes, the Lord requires us to start moving in FAITH that the miracle is on its way, even when we can’t see it on the horizon!
FAITH is our evidence that the miracle is coming, even though UNSEEN!
So, to paraphrase, this Syrophoenician woman, is basically saying this to Jesus.
“I don’t need the main food from the table. Your people can keep that and use it, just give me the scraps! Give me the rejected pieces that others, even your own people, have tossed aside and called no good! I will take the crumbs of what is rejected and used from the table and that will be my portion and IT WILL BE ENOUGH JESUS!”
“I don’t need the whole mustard tree for my miracle, Jesus, just the seed of it. I don’t to touch the whole garment of Jesus, I just need to touch the hem of it! I don’t need the banquet table size miracle Jesus, just the crumbs!”
Praise God for the CRUMBS, because that is all that is needed to change lives, to move mountains and to save a an entire city and county!

In all four of the gospels, only twice did Jesus ever publicly praise someone’s FAITH in Him; and both times, they were a gentile, not a Jew! (The Centurion who had the sick slave and this Canaanite woman!)

Jesus says to her, ““Dear woman, your faith is great. Your request is granted.”
Does the Bible say that in the coming weeks the miracle happened?
Does the Bible say that in the coming days the miracle took place?
Does it even say, that over the next few hours, it started happening?
NO!!!!!! It says, “And her daughter was instantly healed.”
Thank God for CRUMBS! It is our FAITH in but the smallest touch of the master’s hand, that changes whole nations!
This woman is like the little girl from the rural town where there was a massive drought and the crops were all suffering from it.
The people all decided to meet at the church and petition and pray to God for rain!
The preacher noticed them all filing in and talking across the aisles and socializing.
As he made his way to the front, he noticed the little girl sitting on the front row and what she had.
She had a large, beautiful umbrella, already opened and sitting in the floor in front of her, ready to go! She expected God to send the rain!
Can you say the same when you come to God with your requests?
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