Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 18, 2020
Finally, another man, a Samaritan, came upon the bleeding man and was moved with tender compassion for him. He stooped down and gave him first aid, pouring olive oil on his wounds, disinfecting them with wine, and bandaging them to stop the bleeding. Lifting him up, he placed him on his own donkey and brought him to an inn. Then he took him from his donkey and carried him to a room for the night. The next morning he took his own money from his wallet and gave it to the innkeeper with these words: ‘Take care of him until I come back from my journey. If it costs more than this, I will repay you when I return. Luke 10:33-35, TPT
With the recent upheaval over the Coronavirus pandemic, I want to be wise and prudent in protecting my family. But more importantly, I have to remind myself not to panic in fear, but to move forward in faith to love those who are in pain. Self preservation or selfless service are choices that compete for my affections in how to love well. Jesus moved toward the cross in the face of sin, death and sorrow. He shed His blood, so by His selfless sacrifice I am able to face sin, death and sorrow. Jesus moved toward lepers, left to die—quarantined from love. Who are my lepers? Love moves toward pain in tender compassion, so others can gain help and healing.
Jesus describes one man’s tragic trip along the rough road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Having recently traveled the road with my wife Rita, I can understand first hand how even more treacherous and crime filled it was 2,000 years ago. At the risk of being attacked himself, the one who personally experienced the pain of racial injustice—-a Samaritan—slowed down to serve someone at great physical risk. His short-term love bought him time to provide long-term care. He didn’t just demand change over the dangerous road conditions, he loved one hurting victim.
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:16, NLT).
Has your pain, the pain of an individual or the world’s distress caused you to move away from being loved and loving well? Be careful, and don’t allow fear to immobilize your intimacy with the Lord and those who love you. Fear feeds impulsive, reactive, even irrational behavior. Face fear by taking a step back and inviting perfect love to captivate your soul in Christ’s calming comfort.
As you travel the road of life look for those beaten down and bruised by life’s injustices or disadvantaged by generations of bad choices. In the short-term offer a prayer, a meal, a place to live, a church family, your family’s hospitality and long-term a solution to chronic pain and suffering. As the world heats up in confusion and chaos, the opportunities for you to love well will escalate. Will you who know better make the world better in love, by moving toward pain in Jesus name?
“Suddenly, a leper walked up to Jesus and threw himself down before him in worship and said, “Lord, you have the power to heal me . . . if you really want to.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the leper and said, “Of course I want to heal you—be healed!” And instantly, all signs of leprosy disappeared” (Matthew 8:2-3, TPT).
Dear Lord, give me love and courage to move toward pain in my own heart and in the heart of other hurting people, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Who have I been avoiding because it is too painful to try to help?
Face fear by taking a step back and inviting perfect love to captivate your soul in Christ’s calming comfort. #WisdomHunters #pain #truth #Jesus
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