Well, today is day 20 of the 30 days with Jesus. Yes, some does overlap, but they all have a message.
First we begin in Luke with the good Samaritan
. Here an expert (NIV)/ lawyer (KJV) comes to Jesus and asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus, as he does so often, answers with a question saying, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
This expert responded with: 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.
The lawyer is quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 from the Old Testament. Then he asks who is my neighbor. At this point Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. You know the story, a Jewish man is mugged, left for dead and 3 men pass by. The first, a priest crosses to the other side of the road. The second, a Levite, came by, passed on the other side of the road as well. Then along comes a Samaritan.
Now here is where we must understand that this mugged man, a Jew, is lying on the road and along comes a Samaritan. At this time there was a deep hatred between the Jews and Samaritans. The Jews viewed themselves as pure descendants of Abraham; the Samaritans were a mixed race from the Jews and the northern kingdom, and the Jews looked down on the Samaritans. So, the least likely person to assist this mugged Jew would be a Samaritan.
The first two, Jews, passed by, basically looking the other way. Out of sight out of mind. The third, a Samaritan, showed compassion. When Jesus asked the lawyer who was the neighbor, because of the mindset about Samaritans, he said the one who showed compassion. Then Jesus said go and do likewise.
This is what we all must remember, who is YOUR NEIGHBOR? Everyone is someones son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, husband or wife, and being created by God are worth loving. Yes, often it is hard, but we must love our neighbor.
God loves us, he may disapprove of our actions, but HIS love fails not. We may disapprove of others actions, but we must still love them.
Next comes what my wife and I call the Martha/Mary
syndrome. Here Jesus comes to a village and Martha invites Him into her home. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening, whereas Martha busied herself with preparing the meal. Both ladies loved Jesus, but Martha was so busy preparing to serve Jesus that she actually neglected her guest. How often in our Christian lives do we do this? We spend so much time doing things for Jesus that we fail to spend time with Him. Often what we do is self-serving and not Christ-serving.
Hmmm!! Think about this for a moment. Hurts a little doesn’t it? 🙂
One of the disciples asked Jesus how to pray. This we all should know, probably do, and we do it without thinking—-THE LORD’S PRAYER!
When ye pray, say,
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins;
for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Please notice the first sentence – first we are to praise God before making our requests. If we praise God, realizing HE is our first priority, then we are getting into the right mindset.
In verse 3 we must realize our whole life and existence should be centered around God as he provides our daily provisions.
In verse 4 we ask forgiveness of our sins and we need to forgive others if they have sinned or wronged us. God will deal with us as we deal with others in forgiveness. Remember the evil servant who was forgiven his debt by the king, yet he went out and was ruthless with a fellow servant who owed him. Think about how much more the consequences will be when putting this all in a God realm.
The end of verse 4, to me is also very important. I need to ask Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit to deliver me from the dark side, the evil, move temptation away. My wife and I were sitting with some friends celebrating a birthday when the conversation shifted to using vulgar words. Soon, and very soon my wife departed, yet I remained longer. Each vulgar word grated on my being, yet I did not leave as not wanting to offend. Oops, I yielded to the wrong side, as the spiritual side of me was repeatedly offended. My LORD was offended by me remaining, which is unfortunate, and my only saving grace is that I am forgiven by God. A lesson learned.
Verses 5-8 are important to me. Some people highly revered by the ‘Christian’ society will tell you to ask once and don’t bother God with repeating what your prayer is. Wellllll, let’s look at what Jesus says here:
5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
Persistence in prayer helps us recognize God’s work. To practice persistence does more to change our heart and mind than God’s and it helps us understand and express the importance of our need. We need to be consistent in pray, yet not ritualistic. Often the LORD’s prayer is recited without feeling or thought. We need not be ritualistic as were the Pharisees and Sadducees. We need to come to God in pray with open and true hearts.
Then Jesus ends by saying fathers treat their children well and how much better our perfect heavenly Father will treat us. The most important gift God has given us is the HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 2:1-4). Whew! Maybe a little long, but well worth the study. Can we ever get too much of GOD! NO, we need more and more. Thanks for reading.