Plot Twist: Week 3 - Day 5
Lord, thank you for your guidance. Today, as we open your word, may you open our hearts to hear what you have to say.
READ: Luke 10:25-37 , NIV
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 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.’28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
This whole week we’ve been examining the story of the Good Samaritan. This story, we may have heard many times, can take on a new light as we read it. I often read this story and can think that the answer to loving your neighbor is easy. It sounds simple and it is. But sometimes it’s far from easy. Being a true neighbor is a sacrifice and requires more than we could ever get from ourselves. Being the kind of neighbor Christ calls us to be takes his power in us. It takes his guidance and strength to love. We can’t rely on ourselves to always have the best attitude, discernment, or patience to love others. Without him, we are empty and strive after what our sinful hearts think is best. To exemplify what Jesus is talking about in this parable, it first starts with releasing that expectation on yourself. You’re not always going to be perfect in love: there’s no way. When you give up that burden love out of the endless love of our Savior, you’ll find that being a neighbor comes easier. You must be full of love in order to pour out love to others. The only way this will happen is if you know and rely on God as your source. With him as your source of strength, you can have mercy and compassion for others. As Jesus said to the expert in the law, “Go and do likewise.”
What is one way you can stop relying on yourself and start receiving the endless love of Jesus? Is it your patience, prejudice, or perfectionism? Write this down and pray for God to help you let it go.
Jesus, we thank you for giving us your strength and love so we can love those around us. Continue to lead us to a greater understanding of our hearts that try to strive alone without you. Let us set aside everything that hinders and run this race of love. Amen.