Beyond Sundays-Luke 10:27 January’s WOW

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartLuke 10:27: “So he answered and 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.’”

Thanks for joining me for the continuation of our first WOW for 2015. There are so many poignant and powerful examples in His Love Letters to us that teach us to take our faith Beyond Sundays, and considering the work He is purposing to do in me that He may work through me, I can’t say I’m surprised that He had us start with this particular lesson found in Luke 10 for our Weapons of Warfare and Words of Wisdom. Grab your coffee, friend, and join me for the life application portion of Beyond Sundays.

If you are one of those who believe that you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian and faith-filled, while this statement is somewhat true, let me give you this analogy to think about: Saying we don’t have to go to church to be a Christian and feed our faith is like saying you don’t have to date to get married! And then again, there are those who go to church, or are religious about going to church, like the priest and the Levite in Luke 10, and are simply hearers of the Word but not doers. And there’s no need to finger-point. I know my prayer for myself is that I would be a doer of what I hear that it might be accounted as another lesson learned in and from His Word filled with perspective and promises! [James 1:22]

Many have reasons for not going to church, but allow me to lovingly say this: It would behoove each of us to always remember that there is no such thing as a perfect church; if there were I know I couldn’t go!

Now let me share another true story that actually happened before Christmas but begins to bring the life application portion to our first WOW of 2015.

Just a couple weeks before Christmas, we invited a few friends to go with us to a Living Nativity hosted by the church where George and I met. It had rained the night before, and though things had dried up, it was very cold for us Californians! With our plans intact we bundled up and headed out first for dinner at one of our favorite places not too far from the church and then to the Living Nativity. There were three of us girls in the back and George and Vic up in the front.

We were almost to the restaurant when George pulled into a gas station. “I need some juice.” He got out and proceeded to put gas in the truck while the rest of continued to chat.

I’m not sure how long it was before I finally noticed that Vic was staring out the window, suddenly quiet, and George hadn’t gotten back in the truck after the gas pump clicked off. I looked up in the direction Vic was staring to see him talking with complete strangers who looked as homeless as homelessness looks.

Now, George can spot a homeless person a mile away, and it doesn’t matter who he’s with, or how many others he’s with; he has a heart for the homeless and I honestly admire and respect that about him.

It was several minutes before he finally came back inside the truck. “Those guys were freezing,” he exclaimed to all of us. I looked up and out to what looked like a huddle; it was three men obviously very, very cold. I stared at them for a minute, my heart wondering what it must be like to not have a place to call home, a warm bed to sleep in, food available almost at the snap of a finger … In the same way they were helpless and homeless I felt inadequate and helpless, at a loss. It’s not like you can fix them or their situation but there’s always something to do in the form of help, and sometimes it’s just to pray.

George backed up and out of the gas station and I stayed lost in my thoughts and wonderment. As he drove onto the freeway, I overheard him tell Vic that he had given them some money to go and get some food.love_neighbor

“You gave them money?” I heard myself blurt out in more of a statement of disbelief than a question.

“Yeah, I told them to go into Denny’s and get them some dinner.”

I have to be honest with you and share that I wasn’t in agreement with that. I didn’t voice it because I would never want to do anything to dampen my husband’s passion, or cause him to feel less than by telling him how to respond to his heart’s callings. I just don’t like to enable unhealthy choices and I would have done it differently … then.

But that was then, and now, just a few weeks later and after really digesting this portion of scripture we are covering, as well as the message I heard while sitting in a church in Texas, I have to wonder, have I set a certain criteria limiting who I reach out to and how? How can I say I love the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my mind if I even begin to cast judgment about how they got to where they are?

Remember, right after the lawyer recites “the law” from his memory – not from his heart – he cross-examines Jesus with his question of who is the neighbor and Jesus used some very specific examples in His story/teaching: The neighbor is a Gentile, a despised people among the Jews. He used a Jewish Priest, and a Levite, another Jewish person, but of an even higher and more respected reputation than a priest as he was a member of the Sanhedrin to drive home His point.

See, the Gentile was considered a stranger, someone the two religious guys hadn’t known but obviously someone whose path each of them were coming to, crossing, or whatever you want to call it. Let me stop right there for just a tiny detour and give you the Greek translation for neighbor: The Greek word looks like this: “plesion,” pronounced play-see’-on. Here’s what the Strong’s Concordance says: “the (one) near, hence, one’s neighbor.” It also says: “This word has a wider range of meaning than that of the English word ‘neighbor’.”

The explanation continues by explaining that there were no farmhouses scattered over the agricultural areas of the populations and therefore people gathered in villages; hence life was touched at every point by a wide circle of neighborhood! In other words, a neighbor was considered anyone you came near! I don’t know about you, but that sure splashes some perspective on the subject of who is my neighbor and for sure narrows the scope of ambiguity!

Each of these religious guys rejected the call to reach out to the least of these, to love their neighbor as themselves, to be doers of the Word, rather than just commanders of the Law!

In fact, Jesus made it very clear that both of these religious men looked down upon this victim in the way they shunned him, even daring to look at him at what was probably one of the lowest, most difficult times in his life, and walk away as if they didn’t see him … dying!

Let me ask you, Coffee Hour Friend, who do we walk right by because of certain criteria we’ve maintained for helping others? And who do we walk up to and because of our own opinions, walk away from in their time of need? Oh that we would go beyond the law and Beyond Sundays and be on the lookout for our neighbor today!

Join me tomorrow when I share how George truly pulled on the strings of my heart, entwining our two completely different passions while reaching out to unknown neighbors.

On the lookout,

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One Response to “Beyond Sundays-Luke 10:27 January’s WOW”

  1. Jan Bachelor says:

    Wonderful example of ourselves. So quick are we to make judgements upon our visual perceptions and not listen to the spiritual ones. I have been guilty of this more times then I care to recall. I am examining my own heart right at this moment and trying to give my “spiritual” eyes a clearer focus.