WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOR?

MUSINGS – August 12 2018

WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOR?

Luke 10:25-37
“Then an expert in Moses’ Teachings stood up to test Jesus. He asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “What is written in Moses’ Teachings? What do you read there?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.’ And ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'” Jesus told him, “You’re right! Do this, and life will be yours.” But the man wanted to justify his question. So he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man went from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way robbers stripped him, beat him, and left him for dead. “By chance, a priest was traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he went around him and continued on his way. Then a Levite came to that place. When he saw the man, he, too, went around him and continued on his way. “But a Samaritan, as he was traveling along, came across the man. When the Samaritan saw him, he felt sorry for the man, went to him, and cleaned and bandaged his wounds. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day the Samaritan took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. He told the innkeeper, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than that, I’ll pay you on my return trip.’ “Of these three men, who do you think was a neighbor to the man w was attacked by robbers?” The expert said, “The one who was kind enough to help him.” Jesus told him, “Go and imitate his example!”

The question was asked, Who is my neighbor?” and Jesus, using irony in his story, makes the hero a Samaritan. “Jews, of course, don’t associate with mSamaritans.”

Jesus also choose the villans carefully : a levite and a priest. In popular thought, they were the “good guys”. And under Jewish law and tradition they had every reason to not touch the bloodied and possibly dead body of a stranger. They could made unclean for seven days and if not properly ritually clean could be expelled from Italy and be perpetually unclean** very serious consequences. However, not insurmountable, mearly inconvenience. And that was the point it was inconvenient for them. However, it was no lease inconvenience for the mean if Samaria, and yet he was willing to treat a stranger in the same way he hoped a stranger would treat him.***

Who are your neighbors? For whom are you willing to be inconvenienced, or possible endangered? For whom would you go the extra mile?****

*John 4:9

”Numbers 10:11-14

*** Matthew 7:12

****Matthew 5:14
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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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CHOOSE LIFE

MUSINGS – August 06 2018

CHOOSE LIFE

Genesis 5:1-5
“This is the written account of Adam and his descendants. When God created humans, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female. He blessed them and called them humans when he created them. When Adam was 130 years old, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, in his own image. He named him Seth. After Adam became the father of Seth, he lived 800 years and had @ sons and daughters. Adam lived a total@à of 930 years; then he died.

Adam lived a long time, a very long time. He ate the fruit from the tree of Life.* Only one tree was forbidden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.**

He lived a very long time after he ate the forbidden fruit, but he died. The forbidden fruit was not a slow acting poison. It was a test of obedience. Because of his lack of obedience he could no longer eat the fruit from the tree of Life.*** He died.

Death was never God’s plan. Life has always been what His intensions were for us. We were made to be immortal and always in fellowship with God. Even with the disobedience Adam’s death was only partial, death of the body not the spirit.

God still wants us to live. sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him.**** A Way is given that mankind may yet live life eternal in fellowship with Him. Jesus is, “the way, the truth, and the life.”*****

Choose life.

*Genesis 2:8-9

**Genesis 2:16-1

***Genesis 3:22

****2 Peter 3:9

*****John 14:6

5 OUT OF 7

MUSINGS – August 04 2018

5 OUT OF 7

Ephesians 4:22-30
“You were taught to change the way you were living. The person you used to be will ruin you through desires that deceive you. However, you were taught to have a new attitude. You were also taught to become a new person created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. So then, get rid of lies. Speak the truth to each other, because we are all members of the same body. Be angry without sinning. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the devil any opportunity to work. Thieves must quit stealing and, instead, they must work hard. They should do something good with their hands so that they’ll have something to share with those in need. Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you. Don’t give God’s Holy Spirit any reason to be upset with you. He has put his seal on you for the day you will be set free from the world of sin.”

My Checklist

[x] Get rid of lies

[x] Speak the truth
[x] Don’t go to bed angry
[x] Quit stealing
[x] Share with those in need
[ ] Speak only what is good
[ ] Don’t upset the Spirit

5 out of 7 isn’t bad is it?

Yes, I’m afraid so!

Unfortunately, I have a sharp wit and a sharp tongue. I’m only teasing – most of the time. I don’t intend to hurt anyone. But sometimes I do.

My verse for today: Proverbs 15:4 A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue breaks the spirit.

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

TRACKING THE WORD

MUSINGS – August 03 2018

TRACKING THE WORD

Isaiah 55:10-11
Rain and snow come down from the sky. They do not go back again until they water the earth. They make it sprout and grow so that it produces seed for farmers and food for people to eat. My word, which comes from my mouth, is like the rain and snow. It will not come back to me without results. It will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do.”

The Word goes forth from God.

John 1:14
The Word became human and lived among us. We saw his glory. It was the glory that the Father shares with his only Son, a glory full of kindness and truth.

The Word does the Father’s will.

John 5:17
Jesus replied to them, “My Father is working right now, and so am I.”

The Word is nearly completed.

John 17:4-5
On earth I have given you glory by finishing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, give me glory in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world existed.

The Word accomplished his task

John 19:30
After Jesus had taken the vinegar, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and died.

The Greek word translated “it is finished” is tetelestai, an accounting term that means “paid in full.”

The Word returned to God.

Acts 1:7-9
Jesus told them, “You don’t need to know about times or periods that the Father has determined by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he had said this, he was taken to heaven. A cloud hid him so that they could no longer see him.

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

GOD’S SUPERIOR PLAN

MUSINGS – July 31 2018

GOD’S SUPERIOR PLAN

John 11:1-6
Lazarus, who lived in Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived, was sick. (Mary was the woman who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was the one who was sick.) So the sisters sent a messenger to tell Jesus, “Lord, your close friend is sick.” When Jesus heard the message, he said, “His sickness won’t result in death. Instead, this sickness will bring glory to God so that the Son of God will receive glory through it.” Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. Yet, when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed I’ll where he was for two more days.

John 11:11-15
After Jesus said this, he told his disciples, “Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, and I’m going to Bethany to wake him.” His disciples said to him, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he’ll get well.”

Jesus meant that Lazarus was dead, but the disciples thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was only sleeping. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, but I’m glad that I wasn’t there so that you can grow in faith. Let’s go to Lazarus.”

John 11:17
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days.

John 11:32
When Mary arrived where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

John 11:39-44
Jesus said, “Take the stone away.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Jesus, “Lord, there must already be a stench. He’s been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?” So the stone was moved away from the entrance of the tomb. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I’ve known that you always hear me. However, I’ve said this so that the crowd standing around me will believe that you sent me.” After Jesus had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Jesus told them, “Free Lazarus, and let him go.”

There is so much going on in this story. And I encourage you to read it in its entirety other than the selected verses I’ve included.

His close friend is sick. Instead of immediately going to his aid, Jesus makes a pronouncement that this will bring glory to God. There is a plan in place and it isn’t what Lazarus, Mary, Martha, their family or friends want. They want immediate healing. And they trust that Jesus is able to do that. The plan belongs to God for his glory.

I’ve been a believer for fifty some years now. And in those years I’ve prayed countless prayers with tears in my eyes, just as I’m sure Lazarus and his sisters were doing. I’ve believed in God’s power, just as they did. And I was as disappointed when it seemed my prayers were unanswered, just as they were disappointed. And I’ve cried out in hurt, disappointment and bewilderment just as Mary did, “Lord, if only you had been here!”

However, just as the prophet Isaiah records “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways,” declares the LORD. (55:8) I believe God has a plan and it makes no difference if I understand or I don’t.

When I pray, “Your will be done,” I am saying in affect that I submit my will to His. And though it is sometimes a hard pill to swallow, it is my belief that His plan is superior to mine. And so, after I’ve laid out my “perfect plan” for His approval, I still say, “Not my will, but Yours, Lord.”

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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

REJECTION/RESTORATION

MUSINGS – July 30 2018

REJECTION/RESTORATION

Jeremiah 32:37-42
I am going to gather the people from all the lands where I scattered them in my anger, fury, and terrifying wrath. I will bring them back to this place and make them live here securely. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them the same attitude and the same purpose so that they will fear me as long as they live. This will be for their own good and for the good of their children. I will make an eternal promise to them that I will never stop blessing them. I will make them fear me so that they will never turn away from me. I will enjoy blessing them. With all my heart and soul I will faithfully plant them in this land. “This is what the LORD says: As I brought all these disasters on these people, so I will bring on them all these blessings that I have promised them.”

This promise was made to the people of Jerusalem after the LORD had just listed of all the ways that they had fallen away from Him. This is the image of God as father that Jesus described in the parable of the Prodigal Son. God the Father promises acceptance rather than rejection and restoration rather than revenge.

Oh I pray that we can be so loving and forgiving.

Visit my daily blog. https://rvingfulltimewithtomandella.com/

And my sermons blog http://thomasewilliams.blogspot.com/?m=1

All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams