Summary: A first person narrative version of a familiar parable with five lessons we can learn that will make life really enjoyable.
Topic: Christian Living/Love
Theme: Loving Christian Living
Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness calling God’s people in my care to determine to keep on acting our God’s love for hurting people.
Response: Individuals will talk with other Christians about how they can do a little more to express God’s love to hurting persons.
Pattern: A first person narrative version of a familiar parable with five lessons we can learn that will make life really enjoyable.
My wife warned me about going through that part of town alone. She told me to wait for a group but would I listen? No, not me. I had to go then. I didn’t want to wait for a group.
My friends told me to stay out of that neighborhood. They tried to convince me that the crime rate was way to high. No one ever seemed to make it through unharmed. Many people had been murdered for just the clothes they wore. But would I listen? No, not me. I had to go that way. I didn’t want to think about another route. Besides, I’m a big man. The bad guys will leave me alone.
Do you know what happened? My wife was right. My friends were right. I became a victim of the high crime rate. I never saw it coming. To this day I couldn’t tell you what any of them looked like.
I was going along minding my own business, when I was mugged. They stripped off my coat and shoes. They beat me and left me half-dead.
A minister happened to be going down the same street. (I could see his big Bible with a clergy-parking pass on it). When he saw me, he crossed over to the other side of the street. He almost ran until he was out of sight.
A few minutes later, another church person went on by. (I could see the huge sack of books and tapes from the Christian bookstore she was carrying). When she came to the spot where she could see me, she crossed the street. I’ve never felt so alone and helpless.
But then someone stopped to help me. Some of us would call him a – well I can’t say that in church. Ahhh, no I can’t call anyone that either. Well let’s just say a member of an ethnic minority came to where I was. And when he saw me, he took pity on him. He came over to me and bandaged my wounds. He literally gave me the shirt off his back – tearing it into strips to stop my bleeding. Then he helped me up, took him to an Emergency Medical facility and took care of him. (I guess he was a doctor.) The next morning he told the nurses to look after me put all my expenses on his account.
By the way, which one of the persons who saw me bleeding on the street would you want for your neighbor?
Let me tell you what I’ve learned from all this.
LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED
1. We must help a person in trouble even if he brought it on himself.
2. Our help for hurting people needs to as wide as the love of God.
3. Our love must be practical and real.
4. We cannot separate our love for God from our love for hurting people.
5. (THE BOTTOM LINE)
The only way to really enjoy life – both now and forever – is to act out our love for God by helping hurting people.
Jesus put it this way, " ‘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.’ Do this and you will really live."
How can we do that? How can we act out our love for God and others?
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.
Talk with other Christians about how you can work together to do a little more to keep on acting out God’s love for hurting persons. Consider and come up with more ways to express God’s love to hurting people.
1) Will you think of another way to help a hurting person this week? Will you talk with some other Christians about how you all can do a little more to express God’s love to hurting persons?
2) If you will, then just look at me and nod your head. Thank you.
3) Prayer of commitment.