Yesterday I referenced that we were going to count down the top music videos in America. “The Blessing” is still holding strong at number 1 today, but “Graves Into Gardens” has slipped to number 4, bumped back by two classic Kenny Rogers videos. I shared the original video released for “The Blessing” almost two weeks ago when Elevation Worship initially dropped it. That video is another refreshing moment of worship capturing a packed house with every member of the congregation on their feet, most with their hands up, singing out to God. It is a great video to watch, but today I am sharing a much more intimate version of that song, recorded by one of the greatest couples in Christian music history: husband and wife powerhouses Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe. I also share this version because I want you to read the description Mr. Carnes wrote about this song. Enjoy it and share it with everyone you know. This is the blessing I pray over all of you today.
Churches offering live streams today:
Elevation Church: 9:30 & 11:30 EST https://elevationchurch.org/online/
Compassion Christian Church: 9 & 11 EST. https://compassionchristianchurch.churchonline.org/
Bayside Community Church: 9:15 & 11:15. https://mybayside.church
Passion City Church: 10, 1 PM, 5, and 8 PM EST. https://passioncitychurch.com/online/
Seacoast Church: 9, 10, 11, 12 EST. https://www.seacoast.org/athome/
Fresh Life Church (Levi Lusko) 9, 11, & 5 MST. http://www.freshlife.church/online/
Transformation Church: 12 EST. https://transformus.online.church/
Sorry I could not get these linked, but plenty of opportunities here for you to enjoy the Word today and share it throughout the week. I’ll be doing the same. God bless you all.
30 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. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He 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. 35The 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.’
36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”
37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”(Luke 10:30-37)
Today we are looking at the actual Parable of the Good Samaritan. Here, a Jewish man is traveling from the Holy City of Jerusalem to the historic city of Jericho (walls fall down, that famous city). He is beaten by robbers and left to die in the ditch. A priest and a Levite (the Levite’s were the clan tasked with guarding and maintaining the Tabernacle) both do everything they can to avoid the man. Then a Samaritan, a man from a country most of the Jewish people despised and loathed, not only stopped and took care of the man, but he went as far as to take the man to an inn, pay the inn keeper and promise to return to check on him. This parable was meant to symbolize the hypocritical nature of the Hebrew faith at the time, when priests and the highest in society preached a word of holiness and love for God, yet they treated their own people with stern condemnation and arrogance. It took a stranger from a land that their culture hated to stop and show this man the mercy and love the Jewish people had lost.
Christianity was founded on the example of the “Good Samaritan:” going out of our way to help the broken and lost, going the extra mile to ensure they get the help they need, and giving freely of our resources to pay forward the grace given to us by Jesus Christ.
The current crisis this country is engulfed in is a perfect opportunity for us to show the world what being a Christian truly looks like. Give of your resources, look after your neighbor, spend your extra time studying the word of God, pray and talk to God like you have never before, share your faith and confidence in our good, good Father. Let your world know how this story ends. It ends with victory and our place in a mansion on the hill with many, many rooms. Stand strong in your faith and be ready to act at every opportunity available to help those around you. If this tragedy ends in a few weeks and the only thing you accomplished during this extra time of social distancing is you binge watched every new show on all the streaming services, you are just like the priest and the Levite in this parable. Be a Good Samaritan every day of your life. That’s the greatest opportunity and responsibility as a Christian, and you should be thankful God and Jesus chose you to change the world. Heaven’s waiting for us, ready to throw us a party unlike we’ve ever known when we walk through those gates. Jesus uses this parable to show that it’s not just through faith alone that eternal life will be granted. The priest and Levite had faith and lived what they believed were “holy” lives. But none of that mattered because when their neighbor needed them, they chose to ignore him. Eternal life is earned with action through faith and never by faith alone. This world is broken. The devil had beaten and robbed many and they are lying, desperate in a ditch. If you are living a comfortable life and not getting your hands dirty helping those around you, you might be surprised when this life ends. Grace was given to mankind almost two centuries ago by God sparing this world and forgiving us of our sins, sins we all commit each and every day. But grace is not eternal life, grace is forgiveness. That was given freely by Jesus. Eternal life is earned by mercy and action. Do not get that confused. Until every knee bows to the name of Jesus, there is work to do. The simplest act you can do is share the Word of God and demonstrate His never-ending love and forgiveness through your social media outlets.
Reading plan: Luke 17
Deeper reading plan: 2 Samuel 11-
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray that God stretches His heavenly protection over our neighbors throughout this country around the world,
Fitness challenge: Rest
Worship: watch a live service from one of the amazing churches listed above.