WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
DATE: FRIDAY 26TH OCTOBER 2018
THEME: WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Luke 10:27
READ: Luke 10:25-37
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
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.
The title of today’s devotional is a question which precipitated the parable of the Good Samaritan. The question is even more relevant today because the character of good neighborliness is fast becoming a scarce commodity. It is even more astonishing to find out that the brotherly love that helped the Church to grow in the early days of the Christian faith is dwindling among 21st century believers, but this should not be so. In Galatians 6:10, the Holy Spirit answered the question of who our neighbor is when He admonished us thus:
“ As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
To prevent any ambiguity, the Holy Spirit also gave us practical examples of what He meant in the above scripture in James 2:15-16 saying:
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”
Through this scripture, the Holy Spirit is saying that there is no good neighborliness in theoretical spirituality that is not accompanied by action. In today’s Bible text, our Lord used the actions of the Samaritan to vividly illustrate good neighborliness, contrasting his charitable deeds against the selfish attitudes of the priest and the Levite. It is unfortunate that the actions of the latter two reflect what is happening among Christian brethren today. To the pastor, the sick child of a neighbor may die, as long as he is not late to preach somewhere. A chorister would not want to be late for choir practice, even though her fellow sister is critically ill somewhere.
Beloved, the Holy Spirit demands that we add virtue to our faith (2 Peter 1:5). When we add the virtue of good deeds to our faith, the task of evangelizing the world will become very easy to accomplish. The story was told of the General Overseer of a reputable church in Lagos, Nigeria, whose decision to accept Christ was motivated by the kindness of a Christian couple during the Nigerian civil war. He wondered what kind of people would give a bowlful of rice to him, a hungry fugitive who was about to die, at a time when food was terribly scarce. He found out that they were Christians, and there and then he decided to join them in serving Jesus. Beloved, let your faith come alive today with good works.
Father, please help me to add the virtue of good neighborliness to my faith, so that the light of Christ may shine through me to the world.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Jeremiah 23-24
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 12: TAKE MY LIFE, AND LET IT BE
1.Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise,
Let them flow in endless praise.
2.Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
3.Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.
4. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose,
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
5. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.