Summary: Isn’t it easy to care for and love people who love us, care for us, and do good to us? God is calling every believer to a life of compassionate caring.
The Kind Of Caring That Jesus Loves
1. How many of you find it relatively easy to love those that love you? How many of you would be really nice to me if I gave you a $10,000 check each Sunday for the next four weeks? How many of you would be kind and friendly to a certain church member if they bought your lunch every Sunday this year? See my point?
2. Isn’t it easy to care for and love people who love us, care for us, and do good to us?
3. When we love people and do good things for people like this, it really doesn’t do much to touch the heart of God. Why? Because lost people who don’t know Christ do this. Let’s read Luke 6:32-35.
4. What touches the heart of God? What makes God sit up and take note? Let’s read Luke 14:12-14. Notice, you are blessed, and God keeps a record of it!
5. Do you see the principle? God is calling us to a deeper level of love, compassion, and caring. Deeper than we could ever fathom.
6. The apostle Paul reinforced this principle to the church in Romans 12:20-21, “If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” This is the higher ground.
7. I have a phrase to summarize this divine thought – inconvenient caring. Anybody can love when it’s convenient, anybody can care when it is convenient, and anybody can serve when it is convenient. But God is calling us to leave our comfort zone to care for people when it is not convenient, to love…, to serve…
8. Let’s turn to a familiar parable of Jesus Christ in Luke 10:30-37. This is the parable referred to as “The Good Samaritan.” (Read passage.) What a story! It has violence, crime, racial prejudice, hatred, bad guys, good guys, and all the things they make movies about today, right? And people say the Bible is outdated and irrelevant.
9. This story has a context. A pompous and self-righteous lawyer (an expert and teacher of the Mosaic Law) is trying to ensnare Jesus, backing Him in a corner to make Him look silly, simply to justify himself and his own wrong attitudes. So he asks Jesus a question (vs. 25), and Jesus responds with a question (vs. 26).
• Hearing his response, Jesus knew the man had the right answer (vs. 27), but not the right actions (vs. 28).
10. The lawyer, (maybe convicted) trying to be real sly, asks Jesus another question (vs. 29): “Who is my neighbor?” From this question comes this story of the Good Samaritan (vs. 33).
11. What is the message of this story? There are many things to learn, but what I want us to see today is that God is calling every believer to a life of compassionate caring.
Compassionate caring sees wounded lives.
1. When it comes to impacting lives for Christ, leading others to Christ and compassionate caring, vision is very important (vs. 33). See also John 4:35.
2. This certainly isn’t the only component (the priest and Levite saw him), but it is the first step in compassionate caring. You have to be willing to see wounded lives.
3. It is clear from this story that your “neighbor” is not necessarily your neighbor in the sense of the person living next door to you, your friend, your family member across town, or a fellow church member in your LIFE Group.
4. Your neighbor, as defined by Jesus’ parable, is the person that enters your life who is wounded and in need (maybe a complete stranger). We usually think of “neighbor” as a person we already know and have a relationship with. No, it’s a person in need that crosses your path.
5. I believe that wounded people cross our lives often, but so many times, we don’t see them. We have our “to do” list for the day. We have our schedule and our priorities set. And we get tunnel vision. We can become oblivious to hurting hearts around us. There are wounded people all around us.
• We don’t notice that our co-worker is depressed. We fail to recognize that the waitress has tears in her eyes. We don’t notice that our kid’s friend has holes in his shoes. We don’t see the single mom who is exasperated with the hood of her car up and three kids in the car.
6. It can even happen at church. We don’t see the confused face, not knowing where to go, the person sitting all alone at the Wednesday night dinner, the person who looks all alone sitting in church, the first-time guest trying to get three kids to their classrooms, the person looking for a seat, etc.