Luke 10:36-37 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
“The commandment to love one’s neighbor is not contingent upon the other party’s ceremonial purity, worthiness, status, heritage, or religion, but upon the disposition of the heart of the one who claims to love God and thereby serves as a neighbor to all without prescribed boundaries. If a follower of Jesus commits to being a neighbor, then all people, including enemies, are neighbors. In this manner, the children of God take after their heavenly Father by extending mercy and compassion to others.” (Diane G. Chen, Luke:A New Covenant Commentary)
The question “Who is my neighbor?” is grounded in the brokenness of human limitation. It asks – “Is this person worthy or deserving of my compassion?” Instead, today may we ask, “How am I to be a neighbor?” This question is grounded in the overflowing and unlimited love of the cross. It means we are to be the neighbor! And if we are to be the neighbor then now our neighbor is any person in need.
Prayer: “Lord, you call us to ‘Go and do likewise.’ Fill us with your heart of compassion and let it overflow to our neighbors who are in need. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Let’s worship to “More Like Jesus” by Passion (click here).
Deuteronomy 10:18-19 (NIV) 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
“God loves the poor. He loves the orphan. He loves the widow. He loves the stranger. He loves the homeless. He loves the oppressed. He loves those who are suffering. He loves the helpless. He loves the hopeless. They are all the object of his love and compassion. They are always on his mind and heart. He is forever interested in their welfare.” (P. Hancock, The Compassionate Church)
While it could be said that God has compassion for all people, when we read the bible it is clear that the Lord places special preference and priority for those who are poor and disadvantaged. Because God is the God of compassion, his people are to be the people of compassion. The Lord intends for his church to be the providers, the defenders, and the deliverers of his justice on behalf of the poor and disadvantaged in our cities.
Today, let’s pray and ask what ways we are to embrace God’s purpose and plan for compassion ministry in our churches.
Prayer: “Lord, change our hearts to have your priority and concern for those in need. Teach us, train us, and prepare us to be the providers, defenders, and deliverers of your justice. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Let’s worship to “Singing Over Us” by Worship Central (click here).
Luke 10:34-35 (NLT) Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
“The Samaritan treats the injured man with whatever he has on him—time, energy, and resources. As it turns out, the man is still alive! Using the supplies normally carried by a traveler, the Samaritan disinfects the man’s wound with the wine and eases his pain with the oil. He bandages him up, puts him on his animal, and brings him to an inn to be cared for. By leaving two denarii, a sum sufficient to cover room and board for a week or two, and promising further reimbursement, the Samaritan is committing himself financially far beyond the call of duty.”(Diane G. Chen, Luke:A New Covenant Commentary)
The Samaritan exemplifies God’s heart of compassion. What he gives speaks to the generosity and comprehensiveness of how God calls his church to demonstrate compassion. In what ways are our communities called today to use everything that we have to serve the poor and disadvantaged?
Prayer: “Lord, stretch our communities with your heart of compassion to serve in new ways on our campuses and cities. May you lead us more and more into practical compassion ministry. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Let’s worship to “The Same Power” by Worship Central (click here).
Luke 10:31-33 (NIV/NLT) A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.
“The priest and the Levite each get one line of description, but Luke allots considerably more space to the Samaritan, whose response, action, and plan are described in great detail (10:33–37). In legal terms, the Samaritan is subject to the same risks of corpse impurity as the priest and the Levite and is challenged by the same stipulations to love God and neighbor. He may as easily be robbed while lending aid. But his compassion stands out.” (Diane G. Chen, Luke: A New Covenant Commentary)
God uses anyone who is open to him. What makes the Samaritan noteworthy isn’t any special ability, rather it is his availability. Ritual purity, priorities, potential of danger – all of these apply to the Samaritan too, but he wonderfully allows God’s heart of compassion to overcome his barriers and limitations and he is blessed to enter into God’s purpose and plan. The Samaritan teaches us that it’s not about what we have or what we lack, but about our obedience to God when he leads and prompts us. How is the Lord prompting you today?
Prayer: “Lord, we are available. Use us today to demonstrate compassion to our campus and workplaces. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Let’s worship to “Mighty to Save” by Hillsong Worship (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following scripture, confession, and prayer:
Exodus 34:6 (NIV) “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Lausanne Covenant – “Christian Social Responsibility”
We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive… For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and Man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ… The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.
Prayer: “Lord, thank you for your compassion over our lives. Because you are the God of compassion, may we grow more and more to be the people of compassion that you have called us to be for our cities. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Let’s worship to “This Is How We Know” by Matt Redman (click here).