Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"A Single Opportunity"

 "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
 "Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
  "Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, 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 bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
  "On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' Luke 10:30-35
I know that the parable of 'The Good Samaritan' is one that is very familiar to everyone and that every one  knows the point Jesus was making in answer to the lawyer's question of, "Who is my neighbor?" We know that he understood what Jesus was saying to him because at the end Jesus asked him, "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" The lawyer answered, "He who showed mercy on him." I know that Jesus said it best when He responded with, "Go and do likewise." Luke 10:36-37 but today when I read through this account the thing that jumped out at me was and is .....How many opportunities to do I miss each and every day?

I ask this because I realize that Jesus was using the 'Good Samaritan' as an example of how we are to be but the truth is Jesus is the best example to follow at meeting the needs of those who have fallen into the hands of the thief who came to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus was always willing and always compassionate to those He came across. He was continually reaching out to heal, to deliver, to forgive, and to raise up as He made a way for a future and a hope.

For example:
   And Jesus went about all the cities an villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the  kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:35-36

   And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.  Matthew 14:14

   And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well. Matthew 14:35-36

   Then a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Then Jesus, moved with compassion, put out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." Mark 1:40-41

So, the point of today's message - Don't be like the 'certain priest' or the 'Levite.' Instead determine in your heart to be more and more like Jesus. Be faithful to show compassion as you make the choice to not pass by a single opportunity to meet a need or to touch a life!

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