Saturday, January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016

He answered, “‘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.’” Luke 10:27

“Loving you to LIFE” is the vision statement for FredWes. It is a rather catchy and looks good on our website and our bulletin cover. However, it sets a high standard. If you make a claim like that you’d better live up to it!

So how do we do that?

The answer lies within the Great Commandment quoted by the lawyer in this text.

Loving people to life means loving God passionately and then love other people like you want to be loved. Jesus told a story to show what that looks like:

“But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? ”In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Luke 10:29-35

The Good Samaritan literally loved this man to life by treating him the ways he would like to have been treated.

First, he saw the needy neighbor, V.33

Unlike the priest and the Levite who threw a quick glance at the badly beaten victim and passed him by, the Samaritan saw him, felt compassion for him and went to help him. He didn’t just see him with his eyes he saw him with his heart.

Compassion means to “feel with” another person’s pain or misfortune. When he saw the needy neighbor he thought that if it was him lying there dying he would want someone to see his need and help. He loved this neighbor as he loved himself!

Second, he served the needy neighbor, V. 34

Not only did the Samaritan see this poor man but he stopped and came to his aid. The verse mentioned three ways he served this seriously injured man:

·         He treated him by bandaging his wounds after cleansing them with oil and wine
·         He transported him by putting him on his donkey and taking him to an inn.
·         He took care of him once he got him to the inn – physically and financially.

The Samaritan love this needy neighbor to live by doing for him what he would have wanted done for himself.

There is a saying, “Talk is cheap”, but when you out your money into something it is a sign of sincerity. This Samaritan took two days wages out of his own wallet to pay for the needy neighbor’s room and medical care and then left a blank check out of his own check book to provide for whatever else he would need.

Why would he do that? That represented quite a sacrifice!

It’s simple, he did for this neighbor in need what he would have wanted the neighbor to do for him! He loved his neighbor as himself. He love him to life!

But there is one more thing he did for this needy neighbor, he stayed involved with him!, V. 35b

Sometimes it is easier to just write a check and get on your way. But this Good Samaritan was generous with both his money AND his time! He pledged to return and continue his involvement with his needy neighbor.

The most precious thing we can give to another person is time and this Samaritan gave his needy neighbor what we would have loved to have – his time. He loved his neighbor as his self.

Leave it to Jesus to tell a story that perfectly and simply illustrates a powerful truth, when you love people as you want to be loved you love life into them!

But as wonderful as this story is, it was just that – a story. It didn’t really happen. Jesus wanted it to happen and He challenged the lawyer, “Go and do like this Samaritan did!” Or, put another way Jesus said, “Go make this happen! Love people to life!”

As you read this well-known story I want you should take that challenge personally as well! “Go and do likewise!” “Go love people to life.”

Imagine how that could change your life!

Imagine how that could improve your marriage and your family!

Imagine how that could rock your world!