Friday, April 29, 2016

April 30, 2016

"On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 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.’ “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 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 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.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37

It's never a good idea to try to make yourself look good by making Jesus look bad. But a young lawyer learned that the hard way. He showed up where Jesus was teaching and tried to out smart Him with what he thought was a clever question, "What does it take for a great guy like me to up my game?" 

He wasn't expecting the answer Jesus gave him, "You're a lawyer, you tell me what they law says." 

When he gave the right answer Jesus said, "Good! Now go do that!"

That would have been a great chance for this young man to slip back into the crowd with his dignity intact, but he pressed the issue, "Who is my neighbor?"

Jesus answered this question with one of the most memorable teaching stories of all time - the parable of the Good Samaritan.

In essence Jesus told him (and us), "If you want to be great find a way to be third." Then He painted a word picture to show what that would look like.

To be first, be third in your commitments!

This Samaritan was on a journey, traveling from one place to another when he happened upon the badly beaten Jewish man the Priest and the Levite had passed ignored the need and passed by.

Was the Samaritan less busy that the two clergymen or was he just more compassionate? It appears the latter is true.

Obviously, they made "me first" decisions in regard to their time while the Samaritan made an "I'm third decision" in regard to his schedule.

Jesus said by, "If you love God you will love others and if you love others you will give them your time."

If you want to "up your game" you must be third in your scheduling! That means you make time for God first and then factor in time margins so you will have time to love others during the course of your daily activities!

When you are too busy to make time to spend with God you are way too busy. You have a "me first" schedule.

If you can't time to help a hurting friend you are too busy. You have a "me first" schedule.