Do you walk by? Do you expect someone else to help? Do you think you are too busy to help? Do you think you are too important to help? What’s your reason for not stopping? What’s your reason for not helping? What’s your excuse? Do you have one? Is it a good one? It’s not all about money! Consider the lame man begging at the temple, he was looking for enough to get through that day and received a transformed life for the rest of his life. Will you ask the Holy Spirit what He would have you do in every situation? Will you respond in obedience to His calling and His prompting? Let today be your day! Know who your neighbor is!
Today’s reading starts on just this topic…
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25A teacher of the Law came up and tried to trap Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to receive eternal life?” 26Jesus answered him, “What do the Scriptures say? How do you interpret them?” 27The man answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” 28“You are right,” Jesus replied; “do this and you will live.” 29But the teacher of the Law wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus answered, “There was once a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him, stripped him, and beat him up, leaving him half dead. 31It so happened that a priest was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he walked on by on the other side. 32In the same way a Levite also came there, went over and looked at the man, and then walked on by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan who was traveling that way came upon the man, and when he saw him, his heart was filled with pity. 34He went over to him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them; then he put the man on his own animal and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he told the innkeeper, ‘and when I come back this way, I will pay you whatever else you spend on him.’” 36And Jesus concluded, “In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbor toward the man attacked by the robbers?” 37The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who was kind to him.” Jesus replied, “You go, then, and do the same.” –from Luke 10
We see in the story what being a neighbor means. We see in the story that Jesus calls us to be like the good Samaritan. Some people ask the question, probably without even knowing where it comes from “Am I my brother’s keeper?” trying to not take responsibility for someone else. But we are supposed to look out for and care for others. Consider how the law can be summarized in the form of LOVE phrases…
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.
- Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
So we are to love! We are to love our neighbors! Jesus speaks to the two points with “do this and you will live” and “You go, then, and do the same”.
So where are you at today? What is the Holy Spirit prompting you to do? See that person? And what is the Holy Spirit wanting you to do? They may not be on the side of the road asking for help, but they might be at work in the midst of a trial. They may not be look sick or injured in the hospital, but they might be hurting on the insider and sitting next to you at the table or the next table. They may not be appearing needy, but they may have the greatest need of all to hear the Good News of Jesus that can transform their life for eternity! You have exactly what they need! They may be a good person who has never gotten into trouble with drugs or alcohol or the authorities, but if they haven’t met Jesus they are still probably feeling the void in their heart that can only be filled with Jesus. They may pass you in the hall, will you make eye contact and say something? Will you listen to that still quiet voice to give you wisdom in every situation?
Today is the day that the Lord has made! Let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s use it for everything we can to bring praise, honor, and glory to God, in Jesus’ name! Let’s live lives that will please God! Ever wondered what that means or would look like? Today’s reading continues right down that path…
A Life That Pleases God
1Finally, our friends, you learned from us how you should live in order to please God. This is, of course, the way you have been living. And now we beg and urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to do even more. 2For you know the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3God wants you to be holy and completely free from sexual immorality. 4Each of you should know how to live with your wife in a holy and honorable way, 5not with a lustful desire, like the heathen who do not know God. 6In this matter, then, none of you should do wrong to other Christians or take advantage of them. We have told you this before, and we strongly warned you that the Lord will punish those who do that. 7God did not call us to live in immorality, but in holiness. 8So then, whoever rejects this teaching is not rejecting a human being, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 9There is no need to write you about love for each other. You yourselves have been taught by God how you should love one another. 10And you have, in fact, behaved like this toward all the believers in all of Macedonia. So we beg you, our friends, to do even more. 11Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living, just as we told you before. 12In this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers, and you will not have to depend on anyone for what you need. –1 Thessalonians 4
So as we go out into this world that doesn’t see everything like we do, this world that is dark and dangerous, this world that is draining and discouraging, let’s turn the other cheek and shine our lights of hope. Let’s turn to God and allow Him to fill us up and to allow our lamp to shine His goodness and His greatness, and His glory into the world around us! Let’s ask God to guide us and protect us! Let’s ask God to have His Holy spirit fill us to overflowing that others may come to know and hear of His great love! Let’s ask God to guide our every step, our every word, and our every action that we may point people to Him! Let’s ask Him to protect us so that we can get this day done His way!
A Prayer for Protection
1Save me, Lord, from evildoers; keep me safe from violent people. 2They are always plotting evil, always stirring up quarrels. 3Their tongues are like deadly snakes; their words are like a cobra’s poison. 4Protect me, Lord, from the power of the wicked; keep me safe from violent people who plot my downfall. 5The proud have set a trap for me; they have laid their snares, and along the path they have set traps to catch me. 6I say to the Lord, “You are my God.” Hear my cry for help, Lord! 7My Sovereign Lord, my strong defender, you have protected me in battle. 8Lord, don’t give the wicked what they want; don’t let their plots succeed. 9Don’t let my enemies be victorious; make their threats against me fall back on them. 10May red-hot coals fall on them; may they be thrown into a pit and never get out. 11May those who accuse others falsely not succeed; may evil overtake violent people and destroy them. 12Lord, I know that you defend the cause of the poor and the rights of the needy. 13The righteous will praise you indeed; they will live in your presence.
-from Psalm 140