But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus took up this question and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down the same road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So too, when a Levite came to that spot and saw him, he passed by on the other side. But when a Samaritan on a journey came upon him, he looked at him and had compassion. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he said, ‘and on my return I will repay you for any additional expense.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” “The one who showed him mercy,” replied the expert in the law. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:29-37 BSB
Life can get hectic and busy. We need to slow down enough to care. There is a saying I heard years ago, “If the Devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy.” We get so busy doing the things of this world, that we miss the things of God. The writer of Hebrews alludes to this in Chapter 13: Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:1-3) As true followers of Jesus our Motto should be; ‘See a Need, Meet a Need’. We make things complicated- Keep It Simple Soldier (KISS); SEE A NEED, MEET THAT NEED. We spend money, spend time, and go around the world on mission trips. We go on these far ventures, pay these large sums and travel for days- to make a difference to spread the gospel. I am not downplaying mission trips across the globe, I enjoy them, and they are our calling. However, many can not take the time or money to go on one of these excursions and so they don’t go on MISSION TRIPS. However, we are all on a Mission trip whenever we leave our house. Our MISSION FIELD is our lives, our work, the people that God puts in our path. We might call these DIVINE APPOINTMENTS. Ask God to put people in your path for you to serve, to save, to sacrifice and share the Good News of Jesus Resurrected.
Leader, the church I currently attend, and am planning on joining understands that we are not looking for church members or an audience, we are looking for Congregants. I go to a church in Fort Worth called Hope Works church. Our Pastor, Shane Gray, upon the ending of each service says, “You are now released into the Mission Field.” I have a friend and a graduate of Like It Matters Leadership Awakening- when I met him he was in charge of the children’s ministry at a church. Due to familial needs and the feeling to ‘up’ his commitment to his leadership responsibility to his family, he had to step down from the children’s ministry at his church, and commit that time to building his career so he had the funds to provide for his family. I overheard him talking that he is NO LONGER, in full-time ministry that he is now in, PART-TIME ministry. He thought that because he no longer got a check from a church that somehow, he was downgraded. I told him, you are IN FULL TIME MINISTRY. Your life is your mission field. God tells us He has plans for you and He has prepared your MISSION FIELD for you. Hear the Word of the Lord; For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10)
Conduit, the GREATEST CALLING is NOT going into professional ministry. The GREATEST CALLING is to do the will of God for your LIFE! I want you to consider that the first 2 people who walked by this PERSON IN NEED, had lots of excuses for why they couldn’t stop. They were busy doing the “things of God”. They had a schedule, they had a plan, they were too busy to stop for someone beaten, wounded and in a whole on the side of a road. This parable is a great example of where we are today. It is a powerful illustration of how HURRY makes us miss God’s special DIVINE APPOINTMENTS. Where else in our lives is the needy person on the side of the road an inconvenience, a challenge to our tight schedule. Heck, I find it hard to get a brother or a sister to return a phone call because everybody is so BUSY doing their agenda, their schedule. Our Lord, Jesus the Christ directs us to care for the person who is crossing our path. Proximity provides for opportunity to LOVE! Love is a VERB, for the Good Samaritan so loved His LORD, that He saw the least of these beaten up, in a ditch and changed his plans to LOVE HIM. He took his money and used it to LOVE THE WRETCH. He took his concern, his care and took care of the CREATURE IN NEED, because he was a MAN OF GOD, INDEED! In the book, “An Unhurried life”, author Alan Fadling says the following about this encounter: “The Good Samaritan SAW the wounded man. The Priest and the Levite noticed the wounded man, but they didn’t let their hearts TRULY SEE HIM. ‘Love looks long enough to be affected by what it sees’. Love doesn’t look away from what is hard to see. The Samaritan had EMPATHY for the wounded man. He felt His pain, and knew He needed help. He was pained enough to do something about what he witnessed. The Priest and the Levites noticed the man, but did not let his situation seep into their hearts. They were unwilling to be affected by his condition, much less get involved.” The Samaritan was different, He was much more willing to be affected and willing to ACT- to VERB, in the name of LOVE! The hidden hero in this story is the innkeeper. He cared for the man, and put his resources on the line based on a promise from a stranger, so he too showed love, by putting the needs of others before his business needs! In this story, HONESTLY, where do you fit in today? UP UNTIL NOW, is a way to REPENT and to CONFESS unto God the Father, that you have been too busy about your business, and NOT about the FATHERS BUSINESS! Be the Good Samaritan to the GLORY OF GOD. Be the INNKEEPER, to the GLORY OF GOD! Whatever you do, make sure it is to the GLORY OF GOD!