Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Good Samaritan
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. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 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. 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. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (Luke 10: 30-37)
The story of the Good Samaritan is one of the most read parables in the Bible. In no uncertain terms in this parable we see were we are to go above and beyond the call of duty in our compassion for our fellow man. We get our moral instructions from this parable. We see how to treat our fellow man. Are we the priest, the Levite, or are we the good Samaritan? We take this parable as what to do, but it is also a illustration of what has been done for us.
Have you ever read the story of the Good Samaritan and looked deeper into its content and meaning and seen a striking picture of our world today or even our country. Just like the man lying on the Jericho Road our country and even this word has fallen into hands of robbers, it has been beaten and left for half dead. We have been ravaged by the wages of sin and because of that we suffer.
This story by Jesus is not only showing us what to do for our fellow man but what has been done for us! So which character in this parable are we? Are we the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan? We are neither we are the victim. Everyone of us that has really known Jesus by faith has first known helplessness. We were once laying on side of the road when Jesus passed by and He was the good neighbor. This is the beginning of compassion for us, the day Jesus passed by. We do not just become merciful by thinking of others and doing for them when they are in need. We became merciful by experiencing mercy. When Jesus spared us He said “Go and do likewise.”
Monday, May 17, 2010
Being a casual Christian is the same as being a oxymoron, thinking that you are wise but really you are a fool. Even though a lot of people think that it is okay to be a casual Christian, in reality there is no such thing as a casual Christian. It is impossible for a person to say: I'm a follower of Christ, but I'm not prepared to lay down my life for the Gospel. One or the other of these statements cannot be true. Our faith, as a Christian, demands our entire allegiance to our Lord and Savior. It cannot be a half hearted thing. There is no luke warmness or being casual in being a Christian.
Down through the history of the Christian Church we can all see and read about the martyrs who suffered for the cause of Christ. Down through the centuries throughout the world missionary kids have seen their parents killed, executed for their stand on the gospel. Even today some Christians have to hide to worship their Savior. The fact is many Christians have lost family to persecution. Many have given their lives or have been put in prison for the cause of the Gospel. Whether this is a tragedy or the glory of the church (in fact it is both) is not the point. It is a give fact. It is assumed of Jesus' followers they will follow him to where ever He goes, and He goes to places like the cross.
Martyrdom is not the issue here and it is not something that confronts the most of us. Few of us are persecuted for being a Christian. But there is one thing for sure and all of us can say that sometimes it is difficult to follow Christ. The Lord ask us, as Christians, to make sacrifices. He ask us to be obedient, even when obedience is very painful. He does not ask all of us to die for Him but He does ask all of us to live for Him.
One of the greatest weakness of the churches of today is their unwillingness to be humble as our Savior was. Some Christians are more like shoppers that shop around for a faith that suits them. The problem is this, When we really meet Jesus we are faced with a choice. Do we stand firm and rock hard in our faith, despite the many test and troubles that come our way or do we settle for a luke warmness that can be barely, if at all, be called Christian. That fact is if we are a Christian that is rooted and grounded in the Word of God we must prepare for trials and troubles because they will come!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Every person in this world, no matter who you are, is a temple. As Christians we all can understand that, because we all know that The Spirit of God dwells in all believers. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17) , Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? ( 1 Corinthians 3:16) but if you stop, give it some thought, it is true of everyone. We are either temples of The Holy Spirit or a temple of one of many other idols. By our own nature we are worshipers of something and that is where our heart and affections are. Where ever your heart is there you shall be!
Sometimes we under estimate the power of out affections. We chase after things that we love and want the most. That which we value most highly. And when that takes place, when that happens to be something other than the Lord, most of the time we are trying to serve two masters. Regardless of what we are told we are not held helpless to our hearts desires. We chose those desires of our heart. They do not just walk in. We value our relationships, our wealth, our possessions, and many other things, above everything else, because we choice to do so. To many times we find we have to many masters and to many substitutes for our Lord. When things such as this are put above the Lord we are in trouble.
As I studied this I found out something. Jesus did not say no one should not serve two masters. He said no one can serve two masters. Some people try to maintain their fellowship with the Lord while they put greater affection on less worthy things. It is when a Christian knows the power of their affections that they become wise disciples. All God's people must remember that our bodies are a house of worship and there can only be one true and rightful master in that house. Anything else will pollute the temple. It is not wrong to want or have these other things. It becomes wrong when it starts controlling your life.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
The majority of people, in this world, seem to think that this word is getting better everyday and soon will be a lot better place to live. They feel this way because of may things such as great advances in the medical field that allows you to live longer and the great advances in all parts of our life. They say look at all I have what more could I want! They remind me of the person who had so much that he had to tear down his barns and build bigger ones to accommodate all his belongings. Everything is great and going good.
Not according to the Master of our lives. He told us, over two thousand years ago, in the scriptures, “As the days of Noah were, so shall the coming of man be” (Matthew 24:37) We can see two very important statements by the Lord here. The first is, He is coming again, and the second it will be just like it was in the days of Noah when He does come. How was it in the days of Noah? The Bible plainly tells us, in easy to read language, that the world was very corrupt and filled with violence. The world today is very corrupt and filled with violence. It becomes worse everyday and no matter how much this world advances in technology these two evils are still filling our world today at an alarming rate.
The things that our Lord calls sin are now excepted and called “personal life styles” homosexuality and abortion tops that list. God is being taking out of everything. The Bible and prayer has been taken out of of our schools and court rooms so that we may be politically correct. We now have a president that has said we are no longer a Christian Nation when everything about our country was founded on Christianity. By just looking at what is going on around us we can see that the coming of the Lord is close at hand. God is left out of just about everything. As Christians we must ever draw close to our Lord and Savior because he is coming soon. The rapture of the church should always be on our minds.
As The Lord's children we can rest assured we know who holds tomorrow and we know who holds our hand. Even so come Lord Jesus! Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16) While all Christians know and believe that the Lord's return is eminent we must continue in our work for him and continue in Prayer, because as we all know prayer changes things.
Throughout the United States today believers are gathering for the National Day of Prayer. Since the founding of the country there have been 135 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving issued by the President of the United States. These presidents knew that there was someone that was higher than them and they knew were their help come from. It came from the Lord! We must pray for our president. He has chosen to not hold an official ceremony (for the second year in a row so as to "not offend anybody"). The merits and issues surrounding that decision, breaking with years of tradition can be debated by people all they want, but the one that we must not offend is our Lord and Savor. The National Day of Prayer was established by Harry S Truman in 1952 and Ronald Reagan in 1988 as an annual observance "for people of all faiths" and is run every year by the National Day of Prayer Task Force.The National Day of Prayer was ruled unconstitutional yesterday, although it is being stayed on appeal, the decision will not affect the 2010 Day. This just goes to show how far this nation has turned from God. From the founding days of our country there was a national prayer day. See National Prayer Day . Our country today is following on the heels of that great city Nineveh, that according to the Bible, could not discern between their left of right hand. The people of Nineveh fasted and prayed and the Lord spared Nineveh. As a nation and as individuals we should be in constant prayer for our nation.
Prayer needs to be a huge part of our lives. We need to recognize that our spirit needs prayer like our body needs food! This country needs the prayers of God's people. Charles Spurgeon once said, “We cannot all argue, but we can all pray; we cannot all be leaders, but we can all be pleaders; we cannot all be mighty in rhetoric, but we can all be prevalent in prayer." How true that is.
We must all be committed to spending more time in prayer everyday! Don't allow Satan to rob your time to pray because it’s in prayer that we tap into God’s unlimited power that makes demons tremble, we can change the course of our country,