Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 9, 2019

“We love, because He first loved us.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 10:25-37.

“And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  And He said to him, “What is written in the Law?  How does it read to you?”  And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND;  AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”  And He said to him, “You have answered correctly;  do this and you will live.”  But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.  And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him;  and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them;  and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him;  and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’  Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”  And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”  Luke 10:25-37.

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Rather than carefully reading this Scripture, we tend to rush into thinking that our neighbor is the man who fell into the robbers’ hands and rush into a focus on our self on how we should love him.

But, what does Jesus say?

“Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”  And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.”  In other words, the neighbor was the Good Samaritan, and our focus should be on the Good Samaritan.

Whom should we first think of as the one who shows mercy?

Jesus is our Good Samaritan.  Jesus is our neighbor.  Jesus felt compassion for us.  Jesus showed mercy to us.  Like the Good Samaritan showed mercy to the one who was “half dead”, God showed mercy to us when we were dead in our transgressions.  And, our focus should be on Jesus Who commands us to show mercy like He showed mercy to us.  “Go and do the same.”

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:4-9.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;  and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  1 John 4:7-11.

But, there is hope to love one another!

There is the “Golden Chain of Charity”, so to speak!

“We love, because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:19.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”  2 Corinthians 9:8.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love …”  Galatians 5:22.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.


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