Monday, September 21, 2009

Go & Do Likewise

Luke 10:27: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Today I was reading the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), and it really spoke to me. As the story goes, a man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, and a group of robbers stripped and beat him, leaving him half dead. A priest and later a Levite passed by and just ignored the man, moving to the other side of the road. Maybe they were on their way to church!

Then a Samaritan (who was hated by the Jews) came by and had compassion on the man. He bandaged his wounds and took him on his own donkey to an Inn where he took care of him and paid his bills.

Jesus asked the question to an expert in the law, "'Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?' The expert replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.' Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise.'" (Luke 10:36-37)

One thing I discovered in this story is that God can use those of us who are untrained and ordinary. We don't have to leave the job to those in full time ministry. It is our responsibility to reach out and touch our neighbors.

I love Acts 4:13. It says, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."

Do you shy away from hurting people because you don't know what to say or do? Spending time with Jesus is the answer. He will give you the wisdom you need to know how to proceed.

The Samaritan in this story just met the man's practical needs. Often it's just a listening ear a person needs -- or a word of encouragement. They probably don't want you to give them advice anyway. There are times when a hurting person needs someone to sit with him or her in silence. There may be times when the opportunity presents itself to pray with the person.

I will admit, serving others is not always convenient. We have to be willing to lay aside our own agenda. I like marking things off my list as much as you probably do, but I have discovered life is much more fulfilling if I accept divine appointments that come my way.

Let me challenge you today to ask God to bring people in your path you can be neighborly to!

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