January 14, 2018

Inconvenient Christianity

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 14, 2018

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. Luke 10:33-34

I like my conveniences: clean water, heat and air conditioning, online shopping, an e-reader, a smart television, a smartphone, a car, fresh coffee and a laptop. I look forward to a daily routine that allows me to be with people (whom I enjoy), and spend time reading and writing—to pretty much not be inconvenienced. However, my self centered schedule needs room for interruptions from those in severe need. God calls me to serve and give spontaneously/systematically to precious ones who need a Savior. My inconvenience is nothing compared to loving a soul to Jesus.

Jesus tells a story to illustrate who represents our neighbor and how we can care for them. The hero of the parable is a person looked down on by society because of his nationality. A compassionate Samaritan on a business trip was interrupted by a man moaning in intense pain beside the road, having been beaten up by bandits. The good Samaritan stops, assesses the situation and proceeds to bandage up the wounded man, carry him to a hotel and pay for his accommodations. Jesus defined love of neighbor as caring for hurting people who cross our path.

“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14, ESV).

Who needs our prayers, support and protection from brutality? Perhaps a neighbor silently suffers from domestic violence or child abuse. A wife or girlfriend weeps in fear at the outrage of an angry man, or an innocent child cries himself to sleep at night praying for the nightmare of exploitation by an evil adult to end. Prayerfully, we can foster a child to show them the love of our heavenly Father. Our inconvenience is nothing compared to a child being rescued. Our getting involved—involves little, compared to a fractured family finding peace, love and joy.

Gratefully, we reflect on the inconvenience of Christ coming to earth. He was a sweet aroma of grace to the perfumed rich and the smelly poor. He enjoyed meals with greedy business people and naive disciples. Homeless, Jesus had no place to sleep at night—but He never complained. His entire life and death was one big inconvenience for the convenience of others. Thus, we slow down so we can see the needs around us. Love gives a little time, money and emotional energy so someone else can gain God. Our inconvenient faith makes Christ convenient to hurting hearts.

“And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, slow me down to see and meet the needs around me.

Application

Who needs my loving patience to care for them in their time of need?

Related Reading

Psalm 140:4; Acts 20:35; Romans 15:1; Galatians 6:2; James 2:8

Post/Tweet today

Love gives a little time, money and emotional energy so someone else can gain God. #inconvenientfaith #wisdomhunters

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