by Christina Farris
25 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. Our ability to be saved is not by our doing. The story of good Samaritan is a story of what we should be doing after belief. If we talke any part of this story out of context it is usually the first part that is over looked. The lawyer had asked Jesus what He must do to inherit eternal life? Jesus response how do you understand it? The man answer to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and to love thy neighbor has yourself. Be careful here the response is of the man. Jesus said if you do it you will live. Was loving our neighbor has important as loving God? Scripture teaches we can not love God and hate our neighbor in I John. It is a theme in I John about loving and caring for others. Yet here we see the response must be clarified by Jesus about loving one's neighbor. There are times in our life when we can not help someone, but might no someone that might be able too. There times we are unable to do but pray. In truth prayer is enough at times.
How can prayer be enough. When we talk to God there is power in our prayers because who we are in Christ. we are called his children by faith in Christ and God the Father. I remember years ago when a man was in need of salvation. He was on death bed. I personally had a chance to share the Gospel with him and he had rejected. Yet I knew he was searching for answers. Sometimes you are not the person to win a person to Christ. I heard the man was sick and in the hospital a distance away from my home and so I could not go. Yet I knew God wanted to save this man. I began to pray by the Spirit. Another minister had travel to that hospital and witness one last time to the man, he received Christ. I learn at his funeral the events of his receiving Christ has Lord. That same funeral lead two more to Christ. It was the witness to my soul that God had moved and heard not only my prayer but I suspect there were quite a few more praying. When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength it is like a marriage when you pledge yourself to another to be married for a life time. Yet when you pledge yourself to God and Christ there is no turning back. Yes our feet might slip, we might fall, we might even rebel because of our desires for a time, but those things never last. With every marriage there is hardship, struggles and even battle of the hearts. Yet those marriages that are ment to last will love a life time. If you are divorced this might make less since to you this morning, because your heart has been broken. God is not the breaker of hearts. His children break his heart. Think for a moment if you have kids or you are a child of someone have you ever broken the heart of your parents or had your children break your heart. It happens all the time for the struggle for independence. Yet to be independent from God is impossible because it like a marriage when two souls entwine. God wants to dine and talk with your Spirit, in much same way as any relationship. Our love for God may not always be first for that is something that has to be learned and practiced and learned again sometimes. The reason being is God loved us first. God loved us before we loved him. There are times we get angry at God, but it really does not mean our love has waxed cold, it means we going through the struggle of the relationship with God. God is never abusive, we probably at times are abusive to God without even realizing it. Some say how can that be, I never would abuse God. No but in anger in a trial we are not always loving, but God is. There is a learning curve in our relationship with God because his love encompasses even in our weaknesses.
To love God is the first the commandment the second to love your neighbor? Now to love God back is demonstrated through our obedience. To obey a spouse might be scriptural, but it not always sane to obey. Abigal in scripture disobeyed her husband and it saved her life. She could not protect her husband because he was cruel man, though she had tried. What is the point of this, loving our neighbors. On cop show you see neighbors fighting all the time, fake or real it matters not. Most people in general get along to a point, but not always. There is going to be spats, and disagreements in all relationships. Yet take a machine gun to an ninetendo game fight and it is saying one wants war and not peace. Talk of revenge is only like Cain anger until it took flight and killed his brother. God warned Cain.
The lawyer wanted to know who his neighbor was? He wanted it clarified. See as a lawyer he concern with the law or legal part of what He had to do in obedience to God. This is man is an intellect in the day of Christ, for he was a man that study the law to protect his clients. He often interceded in the court system for his clients and seeking clarification was part of the job. Jesus begins to tell the story of the good samaritan which is about a man that was beat up by some thieves and left on the side of the road for dead. A priest and levite both men of faith seen the injured man, but had no compassion on the man. In fact they passed by on the otherside of the road. The samaritan a man that would be best clasified as being an outcast of the Jewish people socialably. We all knows those people, that people stay away from for one reason or another. We all knows those people. Yet this outcast of society seen the injured man and went and helped him. The Samaritan went beyond his call of duty and put him in an inn and paid for his care. Now which person was his neighbor? Of course the lawyer said the samaritan. Jesus told him go and do likewise.
Jesus came to die for the entire world, not just one group of people. He came to set all people free from the yoke of sin, but let us go a step further and say Jesus came to save even those that one might consider to be an outcast. Let us go to say Jesus came to save people in all society. When a person receives Christ they are no longer separated or shunned by the believers but guess what that not always true. When the church world fails to love all people and treat them as equals the church world fails with the message of Christ within their own group and outside their group. God has called all people to repentance. Do not worry about who they are allow God to clean them up. If you love God you will ask God how can I be of help in the situation or a prayer warrior for the situation of individuals, if I can do nothing else. If you can't assist because you have no way of helping don't be in the way of God working be part of the team in prayer, be that encourager. Be that person to help lift and not tear apart.
Dear Heavenly Father help us to keep your command of loving you and love others. Love is what you did when you sent your Son to intercede on your behalf to mankind. Help us to remember why Christ interceded because of man failure to explain and demonstrate what your love is. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:1 John 4:7-11 KJV
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.