There are a few things important to Jesus.
- That our lives would be set apart and dedicated to Him
- That our lives would be dedicated to loving and caring for other people
And, though it sounds simplistic, we all know it isn’t. Why? Because our agendas are much more complex. Many things are important to us and most of those things revolve around SELF. We want our dreams to be fulfilled, we want to be happy, blessed, secure and have our insecurities and fears quieted by someone or something. So we spend our lives on a search for the inner satisfaction we long for. We search for the right “person”, and the right “things”. The person and the thing might change, with the changing seasons of life, but the search is on-going, sadly on-going.
It’s really too bad that the teachings of Christ are not something we sit with, pay attention to and commit our entire beings to understand, live out, and be dedicated to. If we did this, our lives would be simpler, even in the middle of complex circumstances.
Let’s look at what Jesus said about mercy and the treatment of people.
Read Luke chapter 10:25-37
In this passage Jesus was asked by an expert in the law what one must do to inherit eternal life. It was a test, like many other tests to try to trick Jesus into some wrong answer. Jesus put the answer to the question back on the one asking,
“How do you read it?” Jesus asked back.
When the answer was to love the Lord and love your neighbor. Jesus replied,
“You have answered correctly, Do this and you will live.”
But that wasn’t enough, he wanted more clarification, and asked, ‘Who is my neighbor?’
It was at this time that Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan, and Jesus asked the man which of the people on the side of the road was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers, and the expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him”
Jesus replied, “Go and do likewise”
What does Go and Do Likewise mean to you today?
The story tells us that a Levite passed a beaten up man by walking on the other side of the road. But, the Samaritan paid attention, tending to the wounds, and the needs. The Samaritan didn’t just stop and look, stop and comment or even stop and pray. The Samaritan did the extra step and followed through to get this wounded party to a place of rest and safety, supplying every need. The Samaritan was living in the footsteps of what Jesus would do.
Are you just passing people by? Maybe giving a quick answer, a short prayer, or a pat on the back.
Or, are you paying attention to the need, and seeing if you can be part of the solution?
Jesus told us…go and do likewise.
And, Jesus said,
“Be Merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36
Two things to consider:
The love and care of God is working for you today. He cares about your wounds and will not leave you on the side of the road, alone and uncared for. You are important to Him. Likewise, he calls you and I to do the same, to love others with the same love Christ loved us with. Our neighbors are not just our people group, but all people.
As the holidays approach, Renew your commitment to others…through service, giving and imitating the lifestyle of Jesus Christ.
At Cornerstone Fellowship, in Livermore California, we are going to focus on what it would mean to Renew the way we look at the holidays. We are going to be challenged to ask ourselves some questions about how well we are thinking of others rather than just self. We want to take Christmas back and imitate Christ, making the advent season something holy and pleasing to God and of service to others.
To find out more visit www.cornerstoneweb.org during the month of November and December. Especially listening to the Sunday services this weekend! Together let’s do as Jesus taught us, and lets be merciful and care for others more than we care for ourselves. Afterall, we are already cared for. Embrace the love of God and with that same love…lend a hand, a heart, and some help to others who need the love of Jesus too.