Who is your neighbour?

November 9, 2009

A lawyer once asked Jesus; ‘Who is my neighbour?’ In response, Jesus told those gathered about the good Samaritan. We all love this story especially when we were in Sunday school. We are admonished to be as the Good Samaritan.

In the story of the Good Samaritan, two high profile people are introduced as having had the same opportunity as the Samaritan himself but refused it. One was a priest and the other a Levite.

The office of the priest was established when Moses consecrated Aaron and his sons as priests. Again, priesthood was theirs and their descendants. Aaron was of the tribe of Levi and thus all the priests and Levites were to come from that tribe. All the priests were thus Levites but all not the Levites were priests. The priests were to be mediators between God and His people. They were attendants to the sanctuaries of the Lord. They were the representatives of God.

The Levites were regarded as assistants to the priests. Their roles were to be gatekeepers at the temple, instrumentalists, choirmasters, singers, assisted in worship, took general care of the sanctuary, led the people in prayer and instructed the people in the law.

Today, if the priest is the Reverend Minister, the workers in the church will be Levites. They were to liaise between God and the people of God.

A Christian is the exact same as these two. We represent Christ here on earth. God chose the tribe of Levi and ordained some to be priest and Levites. The same applies to us. ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you…’ (John 15:16). Have we not been ordained diversely?. Are some of us not teachers, preachers, prophets, ushers, singers, etc? Is it not the same God?

The Levite and priest walked away without offering assistant to the wounded. These were the people who were learned in the law and walked away. That is how we behave sometimes. Even if the man was not a believer in Christ, are we not to help. After all did not Christ come for the broken and in need of a physician?. How can we who are called Christ’s not behave as Christ would? Christians are called so because we ought to be as Christ. I remember one time when Christ was walking by the sheep market; he saw one in need of help. Did he not help?

Are we not to bear fruits in the likeness of Him whose name we are called? Where have we kept the bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, temperance and all those that are to be borne?

We don’t even show love to ourselves how much more those we perceive not to be of us? Where is the love that knows no boundary? Tell me where is the love?

Question: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Answer: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself.’”

Question: “And who is my neighbour?”

Answer: ?

‘He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked’ 1 John 2:6

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Tempted

October 28, 2009

Many times I have been tempted to fail and I succeed in doing so. Temptation is not so you can pass. It is so you can fail.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed. James 1:13-14. That being established we proceed.
Do you know what Eve realised during her temptation? Genesis 3:6 says ‘And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat’. There we are she saw it was good for food, pleasant to the eyes and desirable to gain wisdom. That is to say, she craved for it, she was attracted to it and she wondered of the benefits.
Again in Jesus’ temptation, He was presented with 3 opportunities. Firstly to command the stones to turn to bread, then set on pinnacle of the temple and lastly bow and worship for a reward.
In these two places there are questions to answer and answers to find. Eve was not hungry but she did eat. Jesus was hungry but did not think on that. Eve saw the how good the fruit looked. Jesus did not even think on the beauty of the buildings or the world when at the top of the temple. Eve wondered about the idea of being wise. She was proud of something that was the promise of the fruit. Jesus did not look at the reward.
If any opportunity comes your way, remember Eve and Jesus and ask yourself these. What is the satisfaction? Why would I take it? And lastly what’s the point? Gets the answers then decide.
‘Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.’
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed.

As a Man Thinketh

October 26, 2009

Have we ever wondered why we behave the way we do. Why do we behave this way in public and the other way in private? Is it the situation that moulds our actions or is it rather a matter of choice? Our actions depict our character. Good character goes with good actions and vice versa.

Sometimes we act in ways that not only surprises the people around us but also ourselves. When we find ourselves in such positions we ought not to be surprised. It is us who acted the way we did and no one else. We all know oranges don’t bear tangerines so why the shock of our actions.

People who argue that circumstances could shape our actions are right but is it true. ‘Circumstance does not make a man, it reveals him to himself’.  Every circumstance is an opportunity. We make use of these to move ahead. Why then do we express shock at our own actions. When we have an opportunity to be good and are good, we are good. If there is a chance to sin and we do sin, we tell ourselves how capable we are of sinning. Opportunities we take do not show us who you are, it only reminds you of you. If it is about pressure from others then note that ‘It is difficult for one of the crowd not to be moved with the crowd’.

‘Act is the blossom of thought and joy and suffering are its fruits’

Our actions are exactly what we think of. When we think of what we will do ‘when I get you’, how do we act different. We’ve already played and replayed the scenario even before it occurs.  What then is the different thing expected. We act exactly as we’ve thought.

‘A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts’

Whatever we think we become. Our thoughts shape our character which in tend determines what we do. If we think evil we become evil and act evil. If we think good, we become good and act goodly. That is why we are often advised to have positive thoughts. We are told to see the positives and learn the lessons of each encounter. The more negatively you think, the more negative you become. The same goes for positive thoughts.

‘Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are’

The dung beetle is attracted to dung. We often say ‘you get what you deserve’. Maybe we get what we are. Does not a liquid find its own volume? If we are evil, evil finds us. Our being causes us to be attracted to our own kind.  If bad things seem to keep happening to us, then maybe just maybe we ought to change our mindset and think good news.  Remember what Paul wrote to the Romans regarding thoughts. ‘…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God’.

‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things’

Thanks to James Allen