Word for the day: “Parable of the good Samaritan”

Luke 10:30 (NLT) Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[d] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. 33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[e] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Do you realize that believers should not have to look beyond the body of Christ to have their needs met? We are meant to be a self-sustaining body. After several decades in ministry, I have seen only one way for the church to function as it should: believers must commit to give of themselves on behalf of others. Now this concept is of course trumped if the Lord has another means in mind to bring Glory to His purposes!

For example, a man determines to pray and struggle alongside a hurting brother until the burdensome situation is resolved or peace returns. Or a woman makes herself available to answer a new believer’s questions about a passage in the Bible, and the two ladies search the Bible and fill their minds with Scripture. And there are countless other ways to serve others, such as driving an elderly member to the service, teaching a youth Sunday school class, or visiting a weary single mom and listening to her concerns and offering some real help!

Before you become overwhelmed by the variety of needs in your church, let me remind you that loving each other is meant to be a body of Christ movement. One person cannot meet every need. But suppose you commit to serving a small group of folks whom God brings into your sphere of influence. If, in order to care for them, you surrender self-focused preferences about resources and time, I believe the Lord will bless you with more joy and contentment than you’ve ever known.

To serve others before serving yourself is to practice authentic living for the Lord. I’m certain that if believers commit to meeting as many needs as the Lord brings to their attention, then a lazy church can be transformed, becoming a true body of believers who function together for the glory of God. Well it’s something to think about, have a great day!

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