Make A Difference | Week 4
Political Ideologies have moved far beyond opinion into the realm of GOD.
Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.
In the Biblical view of things, the main problem in life is sin, and the only solution is God and His grace. The alternative to this view is to identify something besides sin as the main problem with the world and something besides God as the main remedy. That demonizes something that is not completely bad and makes an idol out of something that cannot be the ultimate good.
-Dutch Canadian Philosopher Al Walters
Our God is a political ideology. Our religion is our party of choice.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'What is written in the Law?' he replied. 'How do you read it?' He answered, '"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, "Love your neighbor as yourself."’ 'You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied. 'Do this and you will live.'
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Loving your neighbor as yourself means meeting the needs of your neighbor with all the passion and compassion, joy, speed, and force with which you would meet your own needs.
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?' In reply Jesus said: 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 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. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. "Look after him," he said, "and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have." 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.'
I want you to love them with such great cost, generously and sacrificially, that they will need to hear the gospel just to try to make some sense of your inexplicable life.
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
A life poured out in mercy and compassion to the less fortunate is a sign that you have experienced my salvation.
Tim Keller in his outstanding work on “Radical Neighboring” gives us the following limits. When it comes to loving our neighbor as ourselves:
1. Jesus does not allow us to limit the who.
2. Jesus does not allow us to limit the when.
3. Jesus does not allow us to limit the how much.
I do not believe that one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid that the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do but cannot do because our charities expenditure excludes them.
-C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity
How can we bear one another’s burdens when we only do it when we bear no burdens at all?
When you truly understand that you have been saved by radical grace - your pride will dissipate - and you will become the kind of neighbor you need to be.
When we stop limiting the “who,” “when,” and “how much,” we create an alternative community that will bring people far from God near.
What role am I playing in this alternate community?
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