Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sunday Sustenance - Part 1 0f 3

Are you following the example set by the good Samaritan?

In Luke chapter 10 we find the account of the good Samaritan. Luke 10:25-37 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

In the margin of my Bible I have written an outline from a message I heard preached on this passage some time ago and I would like to share it with you.

God gives us the same command today: to love our neighbor. We see in this passage that the neighbor to whom we are to love is each and every person with whom we come into contact that is distressed and needy. It is not every day that we pass someone on the highways and byways of our lives these days who has been robbed and beaten up. But we do pass people every day who are hurting spiritually inside. Sometimes those we pass are saved and simply need encouragement, but often the people we meet have a God-shaped vacuum in their heart that needs to be filled.

In order to fulfill this assignment we first of all need Spiritual Eyes. We read in verse 33 that the good Samaritan had compassion on the man when he saw him. The prophet Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3:51, "Mine eye affecteth mine heart." What we see affects our hearts and if we pass people by and do not purposefully choose to stop and consider their needs, we are not living the way God desires. Christ Jesus set the example for us. A number of times in the Gospels we read this and similar quotations, "When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them." We need to make a conscious effort when we leave the haven of our homes to pay attention to the needs of those around us. Only as we allow the Holy Spirit to control us will we be able to perceive the spiritual needs of others.

How has the Lord worked in your heart this week? I'd love to have you leave me a comment or write me an email and share what you've been learning!

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