Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. Luke 10:30-32
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another …. If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:7-11; 20-21
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We often create standards for ourselves to which we think we measure up. This is particularly true when it comes to love and hate. We are able to justify our attitudes and behaviors towards others by adjusting what passes for love and what passes for not being hate. I am not sure the priest and the Levite in our story considered passing by the half dead man on the side of the road as an act of hatred, but it certainly was not an act of love. Perhaps when we fail to do the loving thing, we are guilty of a form of hatred. There really is no middle ground. The priest and the Levite most certainly felt justified in regard to their attitude and behavior toward the half dead man, but I am sure God saw it differently.
Perhaps our reasonings need to be questioned as well. Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” He also said, “Therefore, you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” God’s standards are very high and that is why we need a Savior – to do for us that which we cannot do for ourselves. He gives to us the gift of forgiveness and the gift of Himself – so that He might reside in us and produce in us His own life and righteousness. Jesus would not have passed by the half dead man and he most certainly will empower us from within not to pass by those hurting people he wants to help through us.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I know there a lot of hurting people out there that I am not called to help. However, there are those you put in my path for whom you intend to provide help through me. Reveal to me the kind of unloving attitudes and behaviors that I am blind to and I am guilty of that keep me from loving others and acting on their behalf in truly helpful ways. I surrender myself to you, your ways, and your specific intentions for me. Amen!
Posted on Wed, January 30, 2019
by Ken Hart