Summary: In the story of the Good Samaritan you will see vital qualities that are necessary in carrying our faith into the street.
Are you taking your faith to the streets? I am not speaking of literally going into the street and preaching, or something of that nature. I am speaking of living and sharing your faith after you leave church. I turn to the story of the Good Samaritan for help with this idea. In Luke 10 we find the record of Jesus conversation with a religious leader. The man tested Jesus by asking a question, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (vs. 25) This leader sought to trap Jesus, in asking this question. Jesus turned the tables on the man and asked what was written in the law (vs. 26). The leader said “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (vs. 27) Jesus indicated the man had answered properly. He said “You have answered rightly: do this and you will live.”(vs. 28) The Bible indicates the man wanted to justify himself so he asked another question “Who is my neighbor?” (vs. 29) With that question Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan that is recorded in Lk. 10:30-37. It is as if Jesus was challenging the religious leader to put his faith into action. He wanted him to live his faith. Jesus wanted him to carry his faith into the streets.
That is the need in our church and many other churches. We know the Great Commandment. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.” We know the Great Commission. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. That is sound theology. However, Jesus wants us to put our theology into practice. He wants us to put feet to our faith. In the story of the Good Samaritan there were two religious leaders who left their faith at church. Jesus told this parable to illustrate the irrelevance of such behavior. Faith that does not leave church on Sunday is really not faith at all.
Faith Baptist, like other churches, has many issues to address. We have budgets to meet, workers to recruit, buildings to maintain, and programs to organize. However, the Lord wants us to keep our priorities in order. He wants us to carry our theology into the streets. How do we do this? Join me in studying the story of the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan went into the street. The Good Samaritan cared for a hurting man. The Good Samaritan put his theology into practice. Notice three ways he did this. You and I can follow his example.
1. Identify a need and meet it! The Good Samaritan saw a hurting man. He identified a need and responded to it. About a year ago I read Bill Hybel’s new book, “Just Walk Across the Room.” Bill Hybel’s shares practical ways to enhance your ability to share your faith. Hybels encourages you to see yourself as a resource provider. As you meet people’s needs it will open the door for you to share your faith in easy and natural ways. This requires that we open our eyes and identify the needs of the people we meet.
This is the way Jesus ministered. In each of these passages Jesus saw a need and responded to the need. The response to the need opened the door for sharing the truth.
- John 5:6
- John 6:5
- John 9:1
It is imperative that we see people as a person rather than a prospect. This will revolutionize our relationship with people.
* My most successful ministry opportunities have come when I exercised this principle. About five years ago Judy and I sold a house in Northport and moved into a rental home. When we moved into the rental we noticed that a young couple lived next door. We found out they were unmarried, she was pregnant, and he had recently been released from prison. Shortly after we moved in the young man went back to prison, leaving a pregnant girl friend to fend for herself. One day I noticed this “very” pregnant lady riding a lawn mower and mowing her yard. I lectured her about the importance of caring for the unborn baby and told her I would mow her yard for the remaining term of the pregnancy. I met a need. That simple act opened the door for me to visit her boy friend in prison and share the love of Jesus with him.
I have shared the story of Robert with you. We once moved into a home next door to Robert. On the day of our move Robert told me to keep my religion to myself and stay on my side of the fence. He was closed to the gospel. I was there the night Robert’s daddy died. I was there the night Robert’s mother died. I met a need. Robert later gave his heart to Christ.