Summary: #10 in Proverbs & Parables Series. Using the Parable of the Good Samaritan and Proverbs. Looks at attitudes: What’s yours is mine and I’m going to take it. What’s mine is mine and I’m going to keep it. What’s mine is yours and I’m going to share it.
YOURS, MINE, or OURS
I read an article where a pastor told about a woman who fainted in church one Sunday while he was preaching. She fell over and struck her head on the end of the pew. Immediately, an EMT in the congregation called an ambulance. As they strapped the elderly woman to a stretcher and got ready to head out the door, the she motioned for her daughter to come near. The daughter leaned close to hear what her mother had to say. Her mother whispered to her: “My offering is in my purse.”
Now there’s a woman who came to church with a heartfelt desire to GIVE to the Lord. Today we’re going to look at our attitudes. Do we go through life looking for ways to TAKE or ways to GIVE? Maybe this scene along the Jericho Road will help get us started:
DRAMA: GOOD SAM
I probably don’t need to tell you that was a slightly modified version of a very familiar parable. Today we’re going to talk about some of the main characters in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We’ll talk about the Religious Leaders and the Samaritan in a minute. But first, lets look at the ones who set the whole plot in motion: the THIEVES who attacked the victim. The THIEVES were walking down the Jericho road looking for what they could TAKE. They had the attitude:
1. What’s YOURS is MINE and I’m going to take it
Chances are no one sitting here is planning to commit highway robbery on their way home from church. But there are other, more subtle ways that we commit robbery. Proverbs 20:10 says Differing weights and differing measures – the LORD detests them both. In all our business dealings and in our personal finances, God expects complete honesty. In fact, anything less than total integrity is robbery in God’s eyes.
The verdict is in on Martha Stewart. She has a net worth in the billions, but she risked everything to save $60,000 in stock value. And now she faces prison time for something that must have seemed like a small infraction to her. Like her, we may think that small departures from integrity are no big deal.
And like her, we may find out it is a bigger deal than we think. Proverbs 20:17 warns: Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel. I’ve never had a mouth full of gravel myself, but it doesn’t sound very appetizing… We may look at something as a clever way to get ahead. But if it involves tricking or defrauding others, God will hold us as guilty as the THIEVES in the Parable.
Now, the RELIGIOUS LEADERS in the parable were not breaking any laws. Most people would say they were just minding their own business. But the RELIGIOUS LEADERS were walking down the Jericho road with the attitude:
2. What’s MINE is MINE and I’m going to keep it
The Levite and Pharisee in Luke 10 would never believe they were anything like thieves and robbers. But the way God sees it, if we hoard what He has given us, we are as bad as a robber.
In Malachi 3:8-10 God asks a shocking question: Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But,” you ask, “How do we rob you?” God goes on to explain: You rob me in tithes and offerings. You are under a curse --- the whole nation of you --- because you are robbing me.
What would be worse? To rob a stranger on the Jericho road, or to rob Almighty God himself? I don’t know about you, but that one verse is all I need to tell me I need to get serious about giving back to God from what He gives to me. But that one verse is not all we have. Look at the promise God gave next:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
Beyond giving our tithes and offerings, God commands us to provide for our family members. Proverbs 19:26 says He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace. God holds us responsible for meeting the needs of our families. To do anything less is robbery. This means working hard to provide for the ones who depend on us. We may not always like our jobs, but we stick with it because God has called us to take care of our families.