He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
I’ve been spending some time pondering life lately. How do we really walk out this thing called faith? What does it really mean to be a Christian? Is it merely a title I can fall back on for convenience, or am I really following Jesus? I’ve learned through the years, when I have questions, God’s Word has the answers.
I was reading the book of Luke, the other day. One of the religious teachers was asking Jesus how to get eternal life. The answer was to love God with all your heart, strength and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. Then the guy asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
Fair enough question. If I have to love them as myself, to gain eternal life, I’d best know who they are, right?
Jesus told a story about a guy who got beat up, while he was traveling down a road. A priest, someone that you would think would be the first in line to help him, actually crossed over to the other side of the road, so he wouldn’t have to help this poor guy. Then another guy came by, he was an assistant to the priest, someone who we’d think would want to help as well, but he also crossed the road, so he wouldn’t have to walk by the guy who was lying on the ground, all battered and bruised. But then this other guy came along, a Samaritan. Now, Samaritans and Jews did not mingle in those days. In fact, the Jews looked down on the Samaritans, they were not buddies in any respect. Yet, this guy, when he saw the fellow on the ground, stopped and helped him. He actually took him to an inn and paid the innkeeper to take care of him, until he returned.
And Jesus asked the teacher who was the neighbor to the man on the ground. The teacher replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Then Jesus told him to go and do the same.
Ummmm … so I guess my neighbor is everyone I come across. And sometimes, those people are not necessarily folks I want to hang out with, for whatever reason. My first reaction is to steer clear of them. Pastor Rick always tells us, it’s easy to love the lovely. It’s easy for me to be neighborly to the people I enjoy, my friends. But is that what Jesus asked?
I don’t think so …
Father, help me to not put myself before others. Help me Lord to see people through your eyes, and to have compassion and mercy and your love for them. Teach me Father to love my neighbor as myself, because on my own Lord, I don’t do such a good job of this one.
I Love You Jesus.
In Your Name I Pray,
God Bless You!
Submitted by: Joyce Schneider