Happy Quarantine Day! Saturday’s were our call to serve the community by volunteering, but the greatest need in our community right now is to stop the spread of COVID and stay at home! My beloved city of Savannah is finally shutting down today as of 8:00 AM, following the direction of most of the country by shuttering all businesses except for grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants committed to providing take out only. This is a drastic step to cut the spread of the virus, and for some, maybe an easy transition, but for those that work in the businesses being shut down, it’s terrifying. My wife and I are praying for one specific couple we know that has been laid off because the restaurant they both worked at has closed it’s doors. But praying for people is not enough at this time, God needs people of action. Reach out to your neighbors, friends, and family who are being affected by this global shut down and help them anyway you can. As we look at the devotions from today and tomorrow, as Christian warriors, there has never been a greater time for us to demonstrate our love and compassion for our “Samaritan” neighbors.
This weekend we are counting down the current Top 2 music videos in the country! These two amazing videos bested the entire music industry, which shows that many in America are turning to God in this time of anxiety and fear, which is good, but what would have been better is if we didn’t need a global pandemic to remind us just who we are and just how much we constantly need God’s power and Jesus’ endless grace. So our number 2 video (as of this morning) is this amazing song that I shared on Monday but it’s worth sharing again. And this is worth saying again: if this isn’t what your church looks like, maybe it’s time to find a new church. It’s time to get excited about our love for Jesus, our love for one another, and our endless love for the Lord God Almighty.
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherent eternal life.”
26“What is written in the law?” He replied. “How do you read it?”
27He 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.”
28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replies. “Do this and you will live.”
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”(Luke 10:25-29)
Today, and tomorrow, we will be looking at the Parable of the Good Samaritan, one of Jesus’ most famous teachings that can only be found in the Book of Luke. Here, the passages open with an “expert in the law” standing up to “test Jesus.” Just to clarify here, an “expert in the law” during these times would be a Israelites that knew the Jewish laws from the Torah books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. He would know who could marry who, and what animals were forbidden to eat, and so on and so on. Keep in mind that this was a day when the only copy of the Tanakh would be kept in the temple and only Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, or the High Priest would have access to reading and studying it. So here was this man, fully versed in Jewish Law, seeking to challenge Jesus in His knowledge of the Word. This “expert” inquires about gaining eternal life and Jesus hits Him right back with a question to illicit the answer the man already knows.
I broke this parable up in two days because while the second part of the parable is extremely important, which we will cover tomorrow, this “experts” response to Jesus’ question is the basis for the entire Common Sense Reborn project. Look at these verses, this expert in Jewish Law is asking Jesus how he can guarantee his spot in Heaven. Jesus asks the man how he reads the law, and the man responds with only two commandments.
No where does the man talk about who should love who. What this expert says has nothing to do with what we can and can not eat. The words are simple and hold the weight of the world in their meaning.
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.
That’s it! Nothing more, nothing less. “Do this and you will live,” Jesus responded. Do this and YOU WILL live. Tomorrow we learn who are neighbors are, but if you want to learn how to follow these two commandments, just read the book Common Sense Reborn, it’s your survival guide for eternal life.
Reading plan: Luke 16
Deeper reading plan: 2 Samuel 7-10
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray that God uses this global crisis to bring the world back to Him.
Fitness challenge: Run a mile and a half for time.
Serve Day: serve your community by staying home and reading the Bible!