In the Gospel of Luke chapter 10, Jesus is approached by a lawyer, an expert in Moses’s law. He asks, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asks him back what was written in the law. So the man replies, “Love the LORD your God...and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus says, “Do this and you will live.” The lawyer then asks, “And who is my neighbor?”
So now Jesus answers with a story involving a priest (a person who mediated between the people and God), a Levite (one who ministered in the sanctuary) and a Samaritan (a mixed Jew-Gentile despised by the Jews).
Both the priest and Levite pass by a man who had been beaten, robbed and left half dead. Only the Samaritan had compassion, bandaged the man’s wounds, brought him to an inn and left money for his care.
Finally Jesus asks the lawyer, “Which of these three ... was neighbor to the man?” The lawyer replies, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
I think Jesus' main point is that people who love others will serve others! If we care about people who are in trouble and away from God we will get involved helping them, sacrificing our spiritual, physical, and financial resources.
I don't know about you,but sometimes I feel like the priest in the story. It's like we know in our hearts that the LORD commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but how often do we let an opportunity to meet a need slip through our fingers? What is God calling you to do that you keep passing by?
Like the Samaritan, we must stop and help others by giving them our time, energy and money.
Great things happen when people get involved helping others and serving! Ephesians 4:11-16 show us that when people use their gifts to serve the church, the members grow up in Christ, become mature, and the church is built up in love.
But it's not enough to only know that we should be serving, but we really need to become personally involved... James 2:14-16 explains to us that action speaks louder than just words... We must act on our faith. If we see a brother or sister without clothes or food and simply wish them well, warm and fed, but do nothing about their physical needs, the Bible asks “what good is it?” We must be doers of the Word, not just hearers.
Every Christian has gifts and abilities from the Holy Spirit that are to bless others! They can vary from serving to leading, and giving money to showing mercy. Yet, every gift is indispensable if we are serious about obeying Jesus' command to "go and do likewise!"
I encourage you to find your gifts, find your neighbor, and do likewise... Blessings friend, Karl