Luke 10:30-37 – The Good Samaritan

Luke 10:30-37
30
 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

-When you hear someone mention the word “Samaritan” in this day and age, you no doubt bring to mind this story of a kind soul who gave of himself to help a complete stranger.  But did you know that in Jesus’ day, a Samaritan was looked at with disdain and was actively avoided by any self-respecting Jew.  This is the gift of the Lord- something that is worthless becomes valuable once touched by Jesus.  Someone that is ugly and wretched can be lifted up and made special when Jesus passes by.  It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done or what people think of you; once you’ve been visited by Jesus, He will decide how you are remembered for all eternity.

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Acts 8:35-36 – What Doth Hinder Me?

Acts 8:35-36
35
 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

-What an attitude of service this new convert had!  Many of us look for excuses to get out of following the Lord, but we see the proper attitude modeled right here.  Remember this Eunuch when a spiritual opportunity presents itself; “Is there any reason why I can’t do this?”  Should or should not aren’t even in the equation; if you CAN serve the Lord, you SHOULD serve the Lord.

Ezekiel 8:13-14 – A Jealous God

Ezekiel 8:13-14
13
 He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

-Tammuz (whose name means “faithful or true son”) is a false god worshiped by the Babylonians and is one of the heathen idols that the people of Israel went “whoring after” (Deuteronomy 31:16).  The idea of a people turning from the true God to worship an idol is sad enough, but Tammuz is known for sacrificing his life and then being reborn again.  The women weeping here are mourning the sacrifice of the false god’s “life”.  Imagine being God, knowing that your Son, who is THE faithful and true Son, was ordained to give His life for the sins of mankind, only to watch that same mankind mourn the sacrifice of a false God.  If you were God, how would that make you feel?  The Bible refers to God as “a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14) and this is where that jealousy comes from.  Whether you glorify a false idol, or glorify your money, or whatever else is on your list of priorities; the Father cannot stand and will not forever abide His people misplacing the honor that belongs to Jesus Christ.  “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8)

Ezekiel 8:7-12 – In The Dark

Ezekiel 8:7-12
7
 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.
11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth.

-The “ancients” mentioned here are the preachers and teachers of their day; the ones who are supposed to guide and guard the people in following the ways of God.  These religious leaders seemed righteous out in the open, but when no one was around they would go to their private rooms in the dark and indulge in all manner of depravity.  This speaks to a great many different things- the chambers of imagery could be the secret places in a person’s heart and the images on the wall could be our imaginations; or the chambers of imagery could be our bedroom or study and the images on the wall could be the wickedness that we find on our computer screens.  What do you look at when no one is around?  If the contents of your heart and mind were put on display, what would people see?  Remember, God sees not as a man sees; He sees the secret things and has a way of bringing those secrets to the light of day. (1 Corinthians 4:5)

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 – The Ministry of Reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18 
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

-God reconciled us to Himself; meaning there was a distance between us and God and God made the effort to heal that distance.  He then gave unto us “the ministry of reconciliation“.  Just as God’s effort was put towards bringing us closer to Him, our goal should be to bring people closer to us.  Whether they are family members, coworkers or those of a different faith, if your actions and attitudes drive other people away then you are doing it wrong.  No one was ever won to Christ by being pushed away and building walls is never healthy in relationships or evangelism.

Proverbs 16:7 – Likable By God

Proverbs 16:7
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

-To what lengths will we go to impress people and make them like us?  We tailor our personality to be approachable to others and tailor our appearance to be likable by others.  I wouldn’t judge anyone for that, I do the same things; but I wonder if we put nearly as much time and effort into impressing God and making sure He likes us?  We try to win favor with those around us while forgetting that the heart of every person is in the Lord’s hands.  He can make a person like us or He can stir up a person’s wrath against us.  If we first seek the Lord and His Righteousness, He can easily give us favor with everyone we meet.

Revelation 5:5-6 – A Lamb As It Had Been Slain

Revelation 5:5-6
5
 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

-How is Jesus presented to God’s people in the midst of the throne?  Not as a barrel-chested superhero that can beat back the powers of darkness; neither a smooth-talking salesperson in tailored suit; not even as an imposing king with flowing robes and a bright crown.  No, Jesus is presented as a helpless lamb that has been opened and bled on the altar.  As amazing as it is that Jesus Christ humbled Himself by coming to Earth and dying for our sins, it is equally amazing that He continues to humble Himself by still identifying with the shameful and cursed crucifixion.  Certainly it would be more appropriate for the Lord of Glory to be seen as something more fitting to His divine nature, but as He has proven time and again, the Lord doesn’t always choose what is appropriate for Him, but rather what is best for His people.

Jude 1:5 – The Just and The Unjust

Jude 1:5
5
 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

-When the Lord brought the Hebrew people out of Egypt, He brought them all out; those who had trusted the Lord, those who had doubted the Lord, those who had blasphemed the Lord.  Regardless of prior mercies, however, when the Lord began to prove the Hebrew in the wilderness, He still cut down those He found faithless.  There was a time when all of the Hebrew received the same treatment, from the outside you couldn’t tell the believers from the mockers.  That lasted right up until judgment began to fall.  As it was with the Hebrew, so it is in the world today.  For a time, those who mock and those who believe seem to be getting similar treatment; and certainly “he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)  But “be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)  Things may continue this way for a while, but when judgment starts to fall, the Lord will cut down unbelievers just as quickly as He did the Hebrew in the wilderness.

Matthew 26:36-42 – If It Be Possible

Matthew 26:36-42
36 
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

Deuteronomy 6:4 tells us that “The LORD our God is one LORD”.  While a Triune Godhead may not be 1 in number, they most certainly must be 1 in purpose and harmony.  That means if God the Father willed that God the Son die for the sins of mankind (John 3:16), then God the Son must have been of the same will.  Before the foundations of the universe were laid, Jesus as God made that choice (1 Peter 1:20); but when He got to the garden of Gethsemane as a Man, He asked if there was any way possible to avoid it (v.39).  Why did He make such a request?  In Heaven, God would have had complete, omniscient knowledge of pain and suffering, but only as a Man could the Lord truly experience those things.  That’s why Hebrews 2:10 tells us that Jesus was made complete through suffering and why Hebrews 4:15 tells us that He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities”.  That our Creator, with full knowledge of pain and suffering, would choose to endure such agony for us is a truth big enough to light the world on fire. But that same Creator choosing to go through with it after He had felt pain and suffering- what more can be said?  “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:12)

Psalm 103:14 – Worms and Dust

Psalm 99:2
The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.

Job 25:5-6
5
 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight.
How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Psalm 103:14
14
 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

-Never lose sight of what we all really are- God doesn’t.  God is always fully aware that we are all reprobate worms that deserve an eternity in Hell.  The fact that God is high and holy and we are all dust and ashes makes it all the more amazing that He treats us the way He does.  Be careful not to think anything of yourself and never try to make anything of yourself.  Seek God and let Him give your life meaning and worth.