by Andrea Lomboy
Many times we read over the parables like they are nice stories—and, move right along. However, one of the most profound commandments that we have been given came in this form. In particular, I’m referring to the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Several years ago, I was given the privilege to speak at a conference about congregational health. After my presentation ended, there was an opportunity for the participants to ask questions. The only question that was asked of me was from a leader of a federal agency. Believe it or not she asked, “What do you do when you can’t get churches or their members to help with community needs?” I was saddened and disappointed all in one moment. I was sad that this was her opinion of the church—and, disappointed that she was may have been partially correct in her assumption. Not every church understands the burden of God’s heart when His children lack.
Gratefully, the Lord provided the answer for me to give her—and, it came from this parable. Let’s take a look at the following lesson right from the Scriptures found in Luke 10:25-37:
Luke 10: 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 fell into the hands of 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, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins 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.”
Love will motivate us to use our resources to “have mercy.” It’s not a complicated formula, it is a response to what we are commanded to observe. So, my answer to this lady was simple—I referred to the Good Samaritan parable, and told her continue to seek out those who understand these rudimentary principles. There are kind, compassionate people who do love their neighbors and do care for those in need. God always provides and he will find a servant who will have mercy on those in need. It is our choice to be the vessel that He chooses to use. It is our responsibility to exemplify what Christ has instructed us to do. These words were written in red…
One church can’t do it alone, but the body of Christ can do likewise as we have been charged with this responsibility. We CAN do great exploits for His kingdom if we unite in this mission. Isaiah 58:10-11 says, “Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out of darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day. The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keep you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden like an ever—flowing spring. What a wonderful promise. Your giving directly impacts others and directly impacts the Lord’s response to your giving.
We read in Acts 2:44-47, “And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And, the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. It is amazing to think that by sharing with others, God will bring men, women and children into the kingdom as a result of your kindness.
All Nations has been working with the Self Help And Resource Exchange (SHARE) Food Network for the many years blessing our community countless times over. Your $21 contribution is practically doubled in the value of the food that is given to the recipient. The mission of the SHARE Food Network is access to healthy, affordable food to everyone that strengthens communities through volunteer service. If you are interested in helping with your time, talents or treasures, please let us know so you can extend a Hand of Grace to our neighbors here in Northern Virginia. We welcome you to join us!