An Anchor For Your Soul

Daily Spirit & Word, 459: An Anchor for Your Soul.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #5 God’s Word in your heart is like an anchor for your soul.

You know the old Hymn: “Will Your Anchor Hold”?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

That Question: Will your anchor hold? Will you remain steadfast following the Lord through all the storms and waves and temptations of this life?

 An good, heavy anchor can hold a mighty ship when the storms come.

Fastened to the Rock: The rock that the Hymn is talking about is Jesus Christ. The Bible reveals that He was the ‘rock in the wilderness’ that Moses struck to get water for the people of Israel in the desert, He was also the rock that Moses was placed in a crevice by the LORD as He passed Moses by. Jesus is the rock that makes men stumble, He’s the Cornerstone of the building. Is Jesus YOUR Rock today. Are you holding onto Him as a ship’s anchor does to the rocks at the bottom of the sea. A ship depended upon the anchor getting a good grip upon the rocks.

John W. Crawford wrote in Discipleship Journal;

“When I was in the Navy, one of the games played aboard ship was the anchor pool. Each participating sailor would put in his money and guess what time we would drop anchor as we came into port. The exact time was always recorded in the ship’s log, and the closest guesser would win the pool.

It seemed innocent enough at the time, and my shipmates would encourage me to join in–”Ah, Crawford, be a sport.” I realized later that they couldn’t care less about me being a sport; they wanted my money. But I decided I would not get involved, and I memorized some passages to strengthen my conviction.

One was Proverbs 13:11–”Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished; but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”

Another was Proverbs 23:5–”Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away, as an eagle toward heaven.” Not only was it wrong to win money by gambling, but I wouldn’t be able to keep it anyway.”  “An Anchor for Your Heart.” by John W. Crawford Discipleship Journal Issue #9 May/June 1982.

THE GREAT HABIT OF EMBEDDING GOD’S WORD:

My friends, when we get into the GREAT HABIT of Embedding God’s Word in our hearts the way John Crawford did, we’ll be fast-tracking our way to Christian Spiritual Maturity.

Robert Morgan said, “The practice of memorizing and meditating on the Bible is the primary way to accelerate spiritual growth in your life. It speeds up the transformation process and leads to holier habits. After all, spiritual maturity is simply thinking more as God thinks; so as we implant His thoughts into our minds, using Scripture memory, and as we use the process of meditation to convert those verses into regular thought patterns, we’re developing the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), yielding mature thoughts, pure habits, and holier lives. The psalmist said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11 NKJV).” From; “100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.” by Robert J Morgan.

So we’ll become more like Jesus the more we know and think like Him. Spending precious time in His presence and in His Word will produce spiritual growth. I’ve seen this in many people over the years since I’ve been following the Lord Jesus. So many of my friends have fallen back into the world, given into sin, self and the world’s ways of living. Having talked, counselled and challenged many of them, I’ve become convinced of this; It’s because they left off personal time with Jesus, they didn’t get into God’s Word and they didn’t get God’s Word into their hearts or heads.

There have been times when I’ve stopped my daily time with Jesus, either through work of pressures in life, each time I have, I’ve felt the tendency and temptation to fall away increase. Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t leave me alone too long and by His Holy Spirit, He brings conviction and reveals what’s happened and leads me back into the narrow way.

Having served in the Royal Navy on Ships and Submarines, I love the Bible’s naval terminology, I love the old hymns that speak of anchors, storms of life, waves, billows, etc… They speak to me because I’ve experienced them and they do help to keep me on the Lord’s narrow pathway that leads to eternal life.

 Part ll of “Will Your Anchor Hold? on Monday.

Have an awesome Saturday with your family, friends, fellowship and the Lord.

Sunday is the Lord’s Day: Don’t neglect the gathering of the Saints as some are in the habit of doing and have shipwrecked their faith.

Every blessing in Jesus name,

Don.

Holy Spirit Counsellor Forever

Home Version 2 – Daily Spirit and Word

Daily Spirit & Word, 453: Holy Spirit Forever.

Will be with you forever. Christian LIFE in the Spirit Today.

Good morning my friends, Praise the LORD! It’s the LORD’S DAY!

Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before His presence with songs of joy upon your hearts. Give thanks to Him for He is GOOD. His LOVE endures forever. Amen!

Our focus today is; The Counsellor: The Holy Spirit of Truth.

John 14:15-26 (NIV)

 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever— 17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19  Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21  Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” 22  Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23  Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25  “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26  But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Introduction:

John 14 is the great chapter in the Gospel where Jesus reveals explicitly and clearly that He’s going to be leaving the Disciples very soon. But it also reveals Jesus heart for everyone who comes and puts their trust in Him. He knows that if the Disciples were left on their own they’d soon desert Him (as they did when He was arrested, tried and crucified). Even Peter, the great rock of a man, denied Jesus when a young servant girl noticed him. Three times Peter denied Jesus, but that was before Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, that Jesus had promised them here in this section of chapter 14 of John. You’ll notice by contrast the DIFFERENCE in Peter, when He’s been filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).

Jesus knows what it’s like to loose someone you love. He felt it when Lazarus died remember how Jesus wept; when He saw Mary and Martha and how they grieved for Lazarus? Jesus knows what it’s like. So in Chapter 14 The Gospel Writer is showing us how Jesus was preparing them for His departure; His betrayal and death. Giving them HOPE of a new life even after death.

Jesus was leaving, but He’s promising something wonderful: They are going to see Him again. They are going to be filled with the Holy Spirit and as they experience the Holy Spirit they’ll KNOW: Jesus is with them, the Father is with them, the Holy Spirit is with them: Not only that God in Trinity is with EVERY true believer (a true believer is someone who has Jesus Commands / Teachings and is obedient to them), but He’s going to be IN them.

Holy Spirit For Everyone:

It a promise for everyone / anyone: v23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Jesus said that in answer to Judas’ question about Jesus revealing Himself to the disciples. He thought that Jesus meant only the disciples would ‘see’ Jesus. Judas has a good heart, he’s concerned about EVERYONE who wants to trust in Jesus. He’s already, even before he’s got the Holy Spirit, got a heart for others.

What will the Holy Spirit do? Belonging / Commands.

In this chapter we’re only given a brief introduction to the great work of the Holy Spirit. His first a most important work for the believer is to help us to know that we belong to Jesus.

Notice: The way to know if you BELONG to Jesus: Is to HAVE His Commands and live in obedience to them. (v21)

To HAVE Jesus commands, is to have them INSIDE YOU: They become a part of your being, your nature, your everything. You’ll LOVE them, you’ll want to LIVE in obedience, complete obedience, to Jesus Commands.

Note: Spiritual Conflict: Ongoing battle because even after you’ve received the Holy Spirit, you are NOT yet perfect or completely like Jesus. You still have a SIN / Fleshly Nature within you too. When you are filled with the Spirit there’s an ongoing war in your being; between your old sin nature and the New Spirit nature the Lord gives you. The Spirit and the Flesh are in conflict; each vying for your attention and obedience. Whichever one you submit to will determine your peace or not. (Romans 7 and 8).

However, the way to overcome the conflict is to be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.

Explained: Yes, whenever a person comes in faith to trust the Lord Jesus as Saviour, who repents of their sins and forsakes them and begins to live in obedience to His Commands / Teachings (Discipleship), because those commands are written upon our hearts and become part of our new nature; the New Nature we receive when we’re Born Again of God’s Holy Spirit (John 1 and 3), the old nature is defeated, but it’s not dead. It’s still within you and me and everyone who trusts in Jesus.

It’s a kind of ongoing test:

I was speaking with the Youth about EXAMS and our attitude towards them. I asked them, “Do you like taking exams?” They all said, “No, exams are horrible, they’re hard and you’ve got to work hard if you want to pass them”…

I said, “There was a time in my life when I hated exams too, but now I look forward to them and love getting ready for them”…

My friends, being tested about what we know is one thing, but being tested for what we are is quite another. The TEST that we experience as believers is not what we KNOW about Jesus, the Bible, Church, Traditions, etc…. It the TEST to see if we are truly His. That’s an ongoing test. It’s a TEST we’re subjected to every single day.

  • God wants to know if you are His.
  • Jesus wants to know if you are His.
  • The Holy Spirit wants to know if you are His.

The TEST is obedience to the Commands and Teachings of Jesus Christ (God’s WORD: Jesus is the WORD, the Holy Spirit inspired men to write down God’s WORD. God the FATHER is the ultimate source of the WORD / TRUTH / LIFE. Because the Son and the Spirit subject themselves to the Father’s will. The Holy Spirit subjects Himself to the Father and the Son. But they are ALL ONE, they are ALL equal.

Perfect obedience does not make you less of a person; otherwise Jesus would be less…

Perfect obedience elevates you as it did and does the Lord Jesus Christ.

You’ll experience the LIFE that Jesus intends, the more you live in obedience to His commands and teachings.

Comforter: Holy Spirit. 

That Bible has so much more to say about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit than is revealed in this little portion from John today. However, here we can be comforted that He’ll guide us and reveal to us EVERYTHING Jesus had commanded whilst He was on the earth. That’s what Jesus is promising. Even if the Disciples hadn’t written the Bible (we’re so glad they did), we’d still be guided and enlightened about the teachings of Jesus Christ by God the Holy Spirit on the inside. The Holy Spirit teaches and trains us according to the will of God the Father. He’ll guide you in all your ways.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”

When we become followers of Jesus teachings and commands, we are His Disciples (That’s what He was telling Judas), anyone, everyone who obeys.

As Jesus Disciples we’re given the greatest gift; the Presence of God within, the Holy Spirit will not just be with us, he’ll be IN us.

They’d already known that the Holy Spirit was with them: They’d healed, delivered and seen all the miracles of Jesus. NOW Jesus was promising them; “You’ll HAVE the Holy Spirit in you too”.

The Holy Spirit:

This passage from John above is only an introduction to the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Gospels: Reveal the PROMISE of what life is going to be like with the Holy Spirit. As does the Old Testament.

The Rest of the New Testament is ALL ABOUT LIFE IN THE SPIRIT.

  • Acts: Called the Acts of the Apostles: But could equally have the full title; “The Acts of the Apostles when they are Filled with the Holy Spirit”. Witness, Work and Life.
  • Romans: Teaches us the Gospel, but also What Victory we have when we LIVE according to the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 7 & 8).
  • Corinthians: Teaches us about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  • Galatians: Teaches us HOW to Walk and be LED by the Spirit, the CONFLICT between our natures and about the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in the Believers life.
  • Ephesians: Has teaching about the Holy Spirit in every single chapter.
  • Philippians: Teaches us about the UNITY of the Holy Spirit: Making us ONE.
  • Collossians: Teaches us about the LOVE for others that the Holy Spirit empowers us to have.

The Holy Spirit: Christians SPIRIT LIFE: is

  • Illustrated in the Old Testament: Prophets, Priests, Kings.
  • Promised in the Gospels: Jesus promises in John 14, 17. John the Baptist “Spirit & Fire” promised.
  • Expanded and illustrated and Explained in the Rest of the New Testament.

The Holy Spirit Today:

  • He convicts of sin and of righteousness: Our Need for Jesus. John 17.
  • He Gives Believers New LIFE.
  • He Testifies to Believers that God is our FATHER. (FAMILY).
  • He Equips Believers to LIVE.
  • He Guides Believers in LIFE.
  • He Gifts Believers for SERVICE.
  • HE Unifies BELIEVERS for BLESSING.
  • He Fills Believers with God’s LOVE.

My friends, if you’ve ever doubted that you need the Holy Spirit in your life, if you’ve ever been tempted to think, “I’ve got Jesus I don’t need anymore”, then I encourage you to think again. Re-Read the Bible with a Marker / Highlighter in your hand and whenever you come accross Holy Spirit or The Spirit: Mark it. Make a note: What is it teaching me here about the Holy Spirit, what does the Holy Spirit do in this part of the Bible? What does it teach me here about what the Holy Spirit means for a Believer.

Your eyes will be opened. 

Your understanding increased. 

Your heart will be encouraged. 

Your life will be transformed.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit every single day. Take time now and ask Father God to send the Holy Spirit into your life afresh. Pray to Jesus and tell Him of your NEED of the Holy Spirit. Say to the Holy Spirit: “Come and take Your place in my life.”

I’m hoping and praying that you will be filled. I know that God has promised the Holy Spirit to all who ask. I know that once you are filled your life will never be the same again.

God has promised the Holy Spirit to ALL who ask to be filled.

Just pray, “Lord Jesus, I was baptised for the forgiveness of sins, I know I’ve been born of the Spirit, but now I want to be empowered and renewed and transformed by Holy Spirit today”…. Can you say that and mean it? 

Every blessing for a Spirit filled and powerful day.

Don.

Holy Spirit Counsellor Forever

430: Life or Death: You Choose!

430 Choose Eternity Over Now

Daily Spirit & Word, 430: Life or Death: You Choose!

Either fall down and worship Golden Statue or Die in the Fire.

Daniel Chapter 3.

Good morning my friends, I don’t know about you, but I can feel the days are getting longer and the earth is warming up again. After Winter’s cold we begin to look forward to Spring’s warmth don’t we? It’s the same when we get ill, we look forward to the day when we’ll begin to feel better again or when hardships come, we remember the good times and look forward to a time of ease from hard labour.
Daniel and the Jewish people in Exile in Babylon also looked forward to those good times, but a decidedly dangerous turn of events occured when the King of Babylon built a Golden Statue and told all the people to bow down and worship it. For the Jews all knew that worshipping a false idol would bring God’s swift condemnation and judgement. The edict / order of the king was; “either fall down and worship or face being thrown into the furnace and being burned alive”.
People Value Their LIVES: The Bible clearly tells us that the vast majority of human beings value their life more than all their possessions and would give up everything in order to live. Even Satan knew this when he asked the LORD to allow him to take everything from Job. Job 2:4-5 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
So when the King gave this order to worship the idol of gold, most of the people would comply, their worship was not from their hearts but from convenience and compliance, they didn’t value the statue, but the did value their wellbeing, they loved their lives. For the Jews however, this was going to prove a very testing moment during their Exile from the Pormised Land.
There were four young men who from among the Jews had been selected for service in the Empire of Babylon, they’d been promoted because of their proven abilities; intelligent, wise, bright and clever, now what will they do? We know the story, but let us look at their hearts together.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego valued their lives just as much as anyone else in the world, but there was a higher power that took precedence over their own lives, because they’d received another edict / command long before Nebuchadnezzar had issued his own;
The Commandments of God: 
Exodus 20:1-6
1 And God spoke all these words:
2  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3  “You shall have no other gods before me.
4  “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
They’d had these laws for hundreds of years by the time of King Nebuchadnezzar, they were embedded into the fabric of their being and their hearts were often tested in this area whilst they lived in Israel, they’d been sent into Exile by God (at the hands of the Babylonians) because they’d broken these commandments and had not listened or responded to the many messengers that the LORD had sent to warn them. These who were alive after the Babylonian attack, were taken back to Babylon and now they were faced with the critical choice; “Follow God’s Commands or Nebuchadnezzar’s”….
Daniel 3:1-6
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
2  He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.
3  So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
4  Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language:
5  As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
6  Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

The Christian’s Choice:

Follow The Way of the World: Under Satan’s Rule.
Follow the Way of the LORD: Under Jesus Rule.
I think it all boils down to TRUST & FAITH:
We all trust different things in life; getting married we make oaths to one another and trust that we’re able to live up to those promises. We get aboard a bus, train or plane; trusting the pilot or driver knows where he’s going and can get us to where we want to go. We exercise Faith is so many areas of life, but how are we getting along at actually TRUSTING God with everything in our life today. If our LIFE depended upon it, would we be faithful to the LORD?
Hypothetical Questions like that are very difficult to answer. The devoted Christian will immediately respond, “I hope I’d have the courage of my convictions”, but ultimately until we’re put to the test we just don’t know.
However, we can determine every day just how devoted and faithful to Jesus we really are; because moment by moment throughout every day of our life, we face challenges and tests of our devotion and faith and trust in Jesus don’t we?
For instance: For those of us who live in relative freedom those tests normally come in moral and relational ways; choices to live a good holy pure life in a world that’s quickly becoming less and less concerned with moral purity and conduct. We’re faced with explicit sexual temptations through the Media, Advertising, Films, TV and the Internet, and the way that people dress and behave, even in public places today. They are all temptations and we’ve got choices every day, but we’ve also got the LORD’S express commands in the Bile in these areas too; For example read the Ephesians passage below.
How to LIVE a HOLY, PURE and MORAL life for Jesus:
Ephesians 5:1-21
1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
2  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
4  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
5  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6  Let no-one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
7  Therefore do not be partners with them.
8  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
9  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
10  and find out what pleases the Lord.
11  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
12  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
13  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
14  for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
15  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
21  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
But probably more of a problem is our ATTITUDES to others as Christians.
We’re challenged and tested every single day.
For instance: I’ve noticed that London is getting more and more overcrowded, the transport system is just not coping with the increase in numbers and the patience of people is wearing very thin. You’ll notice in Brixton outside the Tube Station, thousands of people every day queuing up for buses, but in days gone by, those queus were patient and we always let those who’d been in the queue first, bet on the bus first, but not these days. When a bus arrives there’s a mad scramble to be first. Fights break out often, people push one another to be first, sometimes you’ll have to wait for a few buses before you can board one of them. I’ve noticed mothers with children being left stranded whilst fit young men push in front of them. There have even been stabbings because of the overcrowding. How is a Christian going to behave in those queues? What’s our attitude going to be towards our fellow passengers? Oh yes my friends, we’re being tested RELATIONALLY every day. Patience, humility, peace, generosity, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control…
While we don’t face death decisions like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we do face the choice to be like Jesus; to die to self and live for God.
 John 12:25  “The man (Person) who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
The person who chooses to live for themselves is choosing the benefits for the short term; i.e. you’ll get on the bus first, but you’ll feel bad about it afterwards, when your God given conscience kicks in.
The person who chooses to live for Jesus; is choosing blessings for all eternity; i.e. You’ll let others go ahead of you and you’ll bless those who overtake you and pray for those who push you aside in life. “Bless and do not curse”, “Do good to those who hate you”, “Love your enemies”, “Turn the cheek”, “Walk an extra mile”, “Give your shirt off your back to one who needs it”, etc etc… My friends, choose not to live for now or for the moment, but choose to live for ETERNITY. Store up for yourselves TREASURE in Heaven.
We’ll only be VICTORIOUS if we keep close to Him, Jesus Christ and get His Holy Spirit POWER to live for Him in this world today.
Decide right NOW to live for Jesus and be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.
Choose Eternity over The NOW (Instant Gratification).
You know my friends, when you decide to live for Jesus every moment of the day, you are going to feel so much better about yourself, your attitude towards others and your heartfelt devotion to the LORD. You’ll be full of JOY and want to praise Him, even in testing and tempting situations that you’ll face.
God bless and keep you today.
Don.

427 The Parable of the Good Samaritan.

427 Good Samaritan LOVE

 

Daily Spirit & Word, 427: Who Do You Know That Needs A Neighbour?

The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Praise the LORD for today is the day we gather together to worship Him. In my home country Scotland, we call it “The Lord’s Day”. When I was a boy no shops opened on a Sunday, no bars, pubs or restaurants, because Sunday was a day of rest and lots of people attended church. It meant planning for you couldn’t just pop along to a shop to buy things like; mild, bread, butter or sugar. If you did run out of those things on a Sunday, that’s when you needed to know your neighbours, so you could borrow them.
As I read through the Bible text today, a question struck me; “Who do you know Donald that is in desperate need of a good neighbour today?”
Let’s read it now;
Luke 10:25-37 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26  “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27  He 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 neighbour as yourself.’ ”
28  “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
30  In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half-dead.
31  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33  But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34  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.
35  The next day he took out two silver coins 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 neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37  The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
The Expert in the Law:
This ‘expert’ was not someone who knew all about Civil Law, but someone who was an ‘expert’ in God’s Law. Jewish Law was made up of the first five books of the Old Testament, often called the Torah; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Most times when they came to Jesus with a question they came with a question to try and test Jesus or trip him up to see if He’d make a foolish mistake in interpreting or applying the Law, then they’d have reason to either put Jesus to death or make him out to look like a fool in the eyes of everyone. This was such an occasion, for the ‘expert’ in the Law “Stood up to test Jesus”.
This indicated to me that he must have been sitting down with Jesus, probably in a group with others, because why would he try and test Jesus on his own? He’d want to show, in front of others that this man, who claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah, the Son of Man, was an imposter and a fool. That’s the kind of test or trap he’d set for Jesus.
The Expert’s Question: 
When the Expert in the Law asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He was not as we might imagine acknowledging Jesus as his teacher, but a ‘teacher of people’. For that is what Jesus did. The text says he was an expert in the law, therefore, he probably thought he knew the Law of God, better than this illiterate, unlearned (Jesus never attended any highly respected school of Rabbinical teaching) and unenlightened man.
He seemed to know the answer, before he ever asked Jesus the question. That’s what it means to try and trip someone up, knowing the ‘right’ answer, and trying and make him out to be a fool.
The LORD’S Response:
Jesus, as was His custom when confronted with a sneaky, tricky, twisted question asked another question in response, “What is written in the law?” “How do you read it?”
Jesus is asking a very important question here; “What is written in the law”: He saying to the expert, “What does God say is required to gain or merit eternal life?”
Jesus very often, when asked questions by people; even genuine questions, checked their understanding of God’s Law. You see Jesus knew the Old Testament was God’s Word and must be obeyed and applied to life, so he asked the ‘Expert’ a further question, “How do you read it?” He’s saying, “OK, ‘Expert in the Law’, What does the Law say and what does the Law mean?”
Jesus also knew something many Christians don’t know today; that a Jewish ‘Expert’ in the Law, would have attended one of the Rabbinical Schools of Thought (Rabbi was someone who taught the people and expounded upon God’s Law; it was his task to interpret the law and apply it to daily living). Each School of Thought had slightly different interpretations of God’s Law and this often led to very heated debates amongst rival Rabbis.
So when Jesus asked this question, He knew that when this so called expert responded, Jesus would know which school of thought he’d been trained in.
Clergymen: In the Church of England, there are different schools of thought too:
  • Anglo-Catholic (Almost Roman Catholic, but not quite).
  • Liberal: This is a group made up of partly Catholic orthodox in practice, but loose in belief or dogma.
  • Evangelical: Made up of Reformed, Evangelical and Charismatic believers.
Each group normally attends a Theological School of Thought based upon their pre-determined convictions.
It’s weird when we gather together and try to figure each other out, sometimes we’ll get asked by another, “Where did you train for the Ministry?” Upon getting the answer they’ll know what our convictions are, and sometimes it’s rather sad. I was asked once and when I responded the man simply said “Oh” (As if he’d smelt rotten eggs) and he walked away from me.
“The Golden Rule”
So when Jesus asked this question, whatever the man responded with, Jesus would know if his question was a genuine one or not. His first response seemed to indicate he was on the right track towards Heaven and Eternal Life. He responded with what had come to be known as; “The Golden Rule”
He 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 neighbour as yourself.’ “
We say this almost every week here in St Luke’s Church before we have a time of Confession.
What does it mean?
Where does it come from?
The Golden Rule: Love God: Love Neighbour.
“Do unto others, what you’d want them to do for you”…
The Way To Eternal Life:
The Expert Knew The Answer: But didn’t want to live by what he knew was right.
Luke 10:29. “But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?””
When we speak of eternal life, and the way to obtain it, in a careless manner as this Pharisee did, then we’re standing in judgement over God’s revealed will. It as if the man thought he knew better than God’s Word did.
You see my friends, no one will ever LOVE God completely as the Commandments Demand, neither will anyone be able to LOVE his neighbour as he loves himself. We can’t do these two things with any measure of pure, spiritual love in our own human strength, because it will always be tainted with sin.
It’s not until we’ve been born of God, by the Holy Spirit of God, that we can do it. We can only love God by the power and strength and renewal of Spirit of God. In order to LOVE God as the Scriptures Demand, we must first be changed into one of God’s Children. We need His Grace which is obtained by Faith.
The Proud of Heart: Will never see it.
 But the proud heart of man strives hard against these convictions. They’ll always try to JUSTIFY THEMSELVES.
That’s why Jesus clarified the LAW for this Pharisee: This Expert in God’s Law. He knew it, but was self-righteously standing in judgement over it.
Why did Jesus use the LAW? Because the right understanding of the LAW of God, will reveal that we can never be justified in our own strength, because no one can wholeheartedly live according to God’s Holy LAW.
Acts 13:38-39 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39  Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
We can NEVER be Justified or Earn a Place in Heaven, by trying to live according to God’s Law, Moses (first five books of the Bible). Why, because the LAW doesn’t take care of SIN. Sin still clings to the human heart, until it’s washed away by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this Parable of the Good Samaritan: Jesus Christ gave an instance of a poor Jewish man in distress, who was given relief by a good Samaritan. This poor man fell among thieves, who left him about to die of his wounds.
He was ignored by those who should have been his friends, the Priest and the Levite (People who claimed to know God’s Law, just like this ‘Expert’ who was questioning Jesus)  and was instead cared for by a stranger, a Samaritan, of the nation which the Jews most despised and detested, and would have no dealings with. They believed the Samaritans to be beyond hope of being brought into God’s Family of Believers.
 Oh my friends, it is really distressing to discover how selfishness governs the hearts of most people today.
Just like this Pharisee, the Expert in God’s Law; how many excuses will we make to avoid our DUTY to CARE, Revealed in God’s Law of LOVE?
We avoid caring for others as the Bible and God’s Word and God wants, because it will mean; commitment, time, trouble and expense in helping others.
  • However, the true Christian is one who has God’s law of love written in his heart.
  • The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ dwells within a true Christian.
  • We’re being made into the likeness of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, we’ll become more and more like Jesus Christ. That’s what RENEWAL means. That’s what REVIVAL means.
This Parable of the Good Samaritan is a BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE of the GOLDEN RULE: How we should love others as ourselves. God’s LAW of loving Him first and loving our neighbour as ourselves.
A Christian will love someone without even thinking about;
  • which Nation they come from,
  • which Political Party they belong to,
  • which Religious Affiliations they may have; Jew, Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist,
A truly CONVERTED and BORN AGAIN Christian will GIVE ASSISTANCE to ANYONE, REGARDLESS.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, LIKE THE GOOD SAMARITAN:
Finally, the Parable of the Good Samaritan REVEALS the DEPTH of the kindness and love of God and of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ towards; sinful people like you and me.
How? Because, in our NATURAL STATE: Before we come to Christ, we were like this poor, distressed Jewish traveller. We were set upon and beaten up by our great enemy Satan. He had robbed us of the knowledge of the Saviour, Blinded us to the Gospel, and wounded us by tempting us to sin: That’s what SIN has done for mankind and Satan wants to keep us in that darkness too.
Then through His GRACE, MERCY, KINDNESS, LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS, Your beloved Lord Jesus Christ (Like the Good Samaritan) had compassion upon you.
How Did Jesus Show Compassion?
  • He bound up your wounds; “By His stripes you have been healed” When Jesus died upon the Cross, your sins were forgiven and washed away when you TRUSTED Him as your SAVIOUR.
  • His blood shed upon the CROSS Cleanses us from ALL SIN.
  • Jesus Christ gives us a chance of NEW LIFE, rather than ETERNAL DEATH.
  • Finally, like the Good Samaritan who paid the innkeeper for the wounded traveller, Jesus paid the price so that you can stay with God forever, being cared for and having every tear wiped away by Him in Heaven.
 The believer considers that Jesus loved him, and gave his life for him, even whilst we were still his enemy and a rebel; and Jesus having shown us His mercy, encourages us by His Holy Spirit and by the Word of God, to go and do likewise.
Romans 5:6-8   “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 
THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST, LIKE THE GOOD SAMARITAN.
It is the duty of every Christian,
it is the impulse of every Christian,
it is the hearts desire of every true Christian to LOVE like Jesus loves us.
We’ll do it; 
in our homes, being a good neighbour to our family.
in our places of work, being a good neighbour to our workmates,
in our neighbourhood, being a good neighbour to those who live around us,
in our country and nation and world, being a good neighbour to everybody, regardless of who they are.
How will we do it? We’ll want to help them, if we are able, to relieve their distress, bind up their wounds, heal the sick, drive out demons, give to the poor, be generous, welcoming, hospitable, kind, and show peace to everybody.
You can’t do that without first coming to Jesus Christ, to be forgiven, cleansed and renewed by His Holy Spirit, He’ll then pour into your hearts that same love that He has for everyone.
What’s Amazing About Jesus?
He used every challenge or trap set for Him by the Pharisees and Sadducees, Experts in the LAW; as an opportunity to open up the Law of God and reveal God’s way of understanding it and applying it to life. WOWzer! You can do that too my friends, when you face challenges, traps or tricks of men. When they question you about why you would trust in Jesus today. Open up God’s Law to reveal their heart’s condition and show them the way of Salvation.
My friends, you’ve hopefully seen the Parable of the Good Samaritan in a new light.
Let’s get RENEWED first, before we become religious.
We need to make certain that we’re saved, before we try to be saved or live like a Christian.
The Good Samaritan HEART is available from Jesus Christ, do you want to love others like Jesus did?
Who do you know who needs a Good Neighbour?
“Go and do thou likewise”
Have an awesome Sunday,
Don.
Trust in and Worship the LORD with all your heart, lean not upon your own understanding (of God’s Law), in all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will direct your paths through life.
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Today’s reading can be found here: