Open Heavens Daily Devotional For 26th May, 2018
Theme – Good Neighbourliness II
Memorise: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: – Matthew 25:35
Read: Luke 10:30-37 (KJV)
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 2, 2 John, 3 John.
In Matthew 25:31-33, the Lord Jesus Christ gave us a sneak preview of what Judgement Day will be like, and it is surprising that good neighbourliness is the only standard that was used to separate the sheep from the goats in this narrative. The Lord did this to prepare our minds for the events of the last days when people would become selfish and individualism would be rife. 2 Timothy 3:1-2 says,
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…”
May I announce to you that this time is upon us. We live in time when the advent of social media and smartphones has drastically reduced human to human interaction, with the attendant effect that people have little or no empathy and wicked acts are the norm. These days, people hardly know what is going on with their next door neighbour while they are very much aware of what is going on with people thousands of miles away whom they have never met. May the Lord open our hearts to what is needful in Jesus’ Name.
Good neighbourliness involves sacrifice. When you consider the parable of the Good Samaritan, it is easy to imagine what was going through the mind of the priest who passed by the wounded man and did nothing. He might have assumed that the poor man’s situation was beyond remedy. He might have said to himself that it was not in his place to help since he was not a medical practitioner or a law enforcement agent. He might have pondered in his heart that the location was not safe for anyone to delay, and that while trying to help, robbers might attack him and make him another of their victims. He might also have thought that stopping to assist the wounded man would eat terribly into his time, thereby making him late for his important appointment. Although these are all valid reasons not to stop by and help, anyone who is willing to make a sacrifice will set aside all these reasons and help a neighbour in distress. The Church of God must fill the gap created by the deficiency of modern society, which has brought about unemployment, domestic violence, child abuse, divorce, drug addiction, sexual immorality and other unfortunate situations. The Christian community must provide human warmth, homeliness, love and care in places ravaged by individualism, loneliness and lack of trust. As modern society becomes increasingly hostile and dehumanising, children of God must become increasingly accommodating, peaceful, hospitable and caring. Good neighbourliness is a very important fruit of a transformed life and confirms that we possess the nature of God.
Action Point: Plan a course of action to reach out to lonely people around you with God’s love.
Check Also – Billy Graham’s Daily Devotionals
Hymn 12: Take My Life, And Let It Be
1.Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise,
Let them flow in endless praise.
2.Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
3.Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.
4. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose,
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
5. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.