Summary: We sit. We soak. We sour. There has to be more! How do we shake off the apathy and impact our culture? It is time to get engaged.
Let’s Get Engaged
Pt. 4 – Two Sides of the Coin
We have talked about assuming the position. We are called to be gap standers between the living and the dead and stop the plague. We have been challenged to examine our priorities . . . pigs or people? Money or men? And finally I told you last week that in order for us to get engaged we would have to deal with the giants in our lives. Those giants were prim, proper, formal, apathy or indifference, and fear. We cannot possess territory, we cannot reach out, and we cannot fulfill our mission until we are ready to take on those 3 things. So this morning I want to conclude this series by taking you to one of the most familiar texts in the Bible and dealing with the two sides of the coin.
Text: Luke 10:1-3, 7, 17, 25-37
Later the Master selected seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he intended to go. 2He gave them this charge: “What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands. 3“On your way! But be careful—this is hazardous work.
7And in that same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give.
17And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name.
25And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26And he said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And 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 neighbor as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, desiring to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? 30Jesus made answer and said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance a certain priest was going down that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And in like manner a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 34and came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on them oil and wine; and he set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow he took out two shillings, and gave them to the host, and said, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, I, when I come back again, will repay thee. 36Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers? 37And he said, He that showed mercy on him. And Jesus said unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”
There are two sides to every coin (unless it is a trick coin). The sides are forever and always joined. You cannot have one without the other. It is not an either or proposition. In this dialogue with the Scribe Jesus manages to forever link both sides of the coin loving God requires and results in loving man and vice versa. One is not complete without the other. They cannot be separated. They cannot be full without the complement of the other. If we truly love God we will truly love man. If we truly love men we will truly love God.
He does however, put the command in the order of importance. First and foremost we should love God. We should honor God. That is the most important. But consequently that love will produce a love for others.
Before we get into the points that I want to drive home to you this week let’s do a little foundational work. Did the men that Jesus was addressing love God? Yes, in fact they were radical about their commitment to Him. They were radical about keeping the commandments. In fact, they were so radical about it that they had interpreted and added to the commandments until they had proliferated to 613, 248 positive and 365 negative. You didn’t have to wonder if they would be at church each week they were there like clockwork. You didn’t have to wonder if they would pay their tithes. They were automatic. You didn’t have to wonder if they would live pure. They were squeaky clean. They were model church members. These were the poster boys for church folks. (Sound like anyone you know? Sound like anyone you saw this morning in the mirror?) And yet with their commitment to God, church, rules, regulations and the letter of the law they didn’t have the heart of God. They forgot the other side of the coin. Their love for God should have resulted in love for their neighbor.