Putting Others First

I always love to read the story of the good Samaritan. It is a story, not only filled with what is right to do, but it points to the heart of many of us during times in our lives when we are called to be merciful. For your reference, I will put the story here: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down that road.  When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. When I come back I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.’  Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ “The one who showed mercy to him, he said.”  Then Jesus told him, ‘Go and do the same.'”  Luke 10:30-37   I think most of us would be quick to jump in and say, “Yes!” I would be like the Samaritan.  But would we? Oftentimes we think it is the Pastor’s job, and will call the church to tell him that someone needs help.  We’re quick to point out the need, but walk on the other side of the road. If the person injured is not like us, we might not want to get involved, and call the police to come take care of it. Or we will call an ambulance and leave the scene. But in Jesus’ story, He did not say the Samaritan went to the authorities to have them go get the man. He took care of him. His mercy was the kind directed by the Lord, and filled the Samaritan with compassion and care for another human being.  He didn’t think about the many things he had to accomplish that day, He didn’t think about not having enough money to pay for helping this man. His only thought was on mercy.  Can we honestly say we have THIS kind of mercy?  How many times will we tell someone that they can call if they ever need us, only to hope they don’t call.  The church is a good place to start showing the mercy of the Lord to others.  If we can’t do it there, how can we do it in our everyday journey?  Of course we don’t want our wives and daughters stopping by the road to help a person because of the way of the world. But what if the calling to help was from the Lord.  Would He not provide? Would He not protect?  We often find a hundred excuses why we wouldn’t be able to help another, and no reasons as to why we should, because the only reason to do this is mercy.  To be like Christ is to be merciful like Him, to love like Him, and to be selfless like Him, and to think of others first. Then we will understand what it is like to be like Christ. Pastor Andy

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