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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The legal expert viewed the wounded man as a topic for discussion; the bandits, as an object to exploit; the priest, as a problem to avoid; and the Temple assistant, as an object of curiosity. Only the Samaritan treated him as a person to love.
From the illustration we learn three principles about loving our neighbor: (1) Lack of love is often easy to justify, even though it is never right; (2) our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background who is in need; and (3) love means acting to meet the person’s need. Wherever you live, there are needy people close by. There is no good reason for refusing to help. (NLT)
Luke 10:25-37 – One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied with an illustration: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
“By chance a Jewish priest came along; but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that,’ he said, ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Love your neighbor as yourself. – Luke 10:27 (NIV)
John D. Brown (Minnesota) titled his story “WHO’S MY NEIGHBOR?” Here is a portion of John’s story:
“. . . After we were back on the road, the scene with the woman kept playing in my mind. She had asked for help, and I had turned her down. I said a silent prayer that God would provide the woman and her family assistance and comfort in their time of need. I also reflected on my own failure to help them, adding a request for forgiveness for selfishly putting my own needs above those of her family.
“. . . But while I fell short that time, it strengthened my resolve to be more sensitive in the future, and to be the good neighbor that Christ calls us to be.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When we serve others, we are serving Christ.
Prayer: Forgive us, O God, when we fail to care for those who need our help. Strengthen us for the task of being a good neighbor. Amen.
Prayer Focus: TO BE ALERT FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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