VIDEO Four Burning Questions, Who Is My Neighbor?

Four Burning Questions—Who Is My Neighbor?

And who is my neighbor? Luke 10:29

Jesus once advised a certain lawyer to love his neighbor as himself. The lawyer asked a burning question: “And who is my neighbor?” In response, Jesus told the story of a Jewish fellow who was waylaid by thieves on the ancient road from Jerusalem to Jericho, a trail that wound through a stark and treacherous valley. This was likely the same gorge David had in mind in Psalm 23—the Valley of the Shadow. It was a dramatic, twisting, dangerous path of several miles, riddled with thieves.

The victim was attacked, beaten, robbed, stripped, and thrown into a ditch. A priest and a Levite passed by on the other side, but it was the Samaritan who saw the wounded man, rescued him, and tended to his needs. The Samaritan knew that one’s neighbor is anyone in need.

It’s as simple as that. Whoever is in trouble, whoever is hurting, whoever has been abused, whoever is experiencing trials, whoever needs us—that is the neighbor we’re to love as ourselves.

We’re to go and do likewise.

Not everyone is your brother or sister in faith, but everyone is your neighbor, and you must love your neighbor. Timothy Keller, in Generous Justice


Billy Graham – Who is my neighbor?

The Power of Demonstration

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

My attempts at fixing things around the house usually lead to paying someone else to undo the damage I caused while trying to fix the original problem. But recently I successfully repaired a home appliance by watching a YouTube video where a person demonstrated step by step how to do it.

Paul was a powerful example to his young protégé Timothy who traveled with him and watched him in action. From prison in Rome, Paul wrote, “You . . . know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings” (2 Timothy 3:10–11). In addition, he urged Timothy to “continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures” (vv. 14–15).

We are called to live out God’s Word as we teach and encourage others. 

Paul’s life demonstrated the necessity of building our lives on the bedrock of God’s Word. He reminded Timothy that the Bible is the powerful, God-given source that we need to teach and to demonstrate to others who want to be Christ-followers.

As we thank the Lord for the people who helped us grow in faith, we are challenged to follow their example of living out the truth as we teach and encourage others.

That’s the power of demonstration.

Lord, as others have demonstrated Your truth to us, may we in turn show it to others.

We are called to live out God’s Word as we teach and encourage others.

By David C. McCasland 

INSIGHT

Through the life-giving Word of God people learn of the saving work of Christ and His ability to transform our sinful heart into a righteous one (2 Timothy 3:14–17). The Bible is “God-breathed” and the fountainhead of spiritual healing. Its life-giving properties make it “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (v. 16). The purpose of this divine revelation is to make us complete, equipping us to live godly and productive lives.

How can you teach and encourage others to build their lives on God’s Word?

For further study on 2 Timothy, see christianuniversity.org/courses/the-pastoral-epistles.

Dennis Fisher

Practice Self-Control

2 Peter 1:1-11

When I was a boy, my mother bought me a box of chocolate-covered cherries because she knew I loved them. The first one tasted so good that I soon wanted another. I just kept eating them until I felt sick. There was nothing wrong with the chocolates; the problem was my lack of self-control.

Peter lists self-control as one of the virtues we should diligently supply in our life, which means we must commit ourselves to certain behaviors and say no to others. Every situation that tempts us to cross boundaries is an opportunity to practice restraint.

Anything sinful is obviously off-limits, but many beneficial things also need restraint. For instance, food is good and necessary for life, but overeating leads to all sorts of problems. Other areas that require discipline involve the use of money, time, words, and anger.

What keeps us from diligently pursuing this goal is the low priority we place on it. If we don’t see the value of controlling our speech, we’ll say whatever we want at the moment. The same is true of a diet. It’s hard to stick with it if our desire for food is greater than our longing to lose weight. Self-control means we follow through whether we feel like it or not.

If we understand that God has given us all we need for life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3), we’ll recognize self-control is within our grasp. Ultimately it’s produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). However, we have the responsibility of relying on His power and diligently practicing self-discipline whenever we’re tempted to do otherwise.

Magnified Mercy To Us

“Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die.” (Genesis 19:19)

This rather presumptuous plea of Lot to the angels who had spared his life when they called down fire from heaven to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah is noteworthy because it contains the first reference in the Bible to the mercy of God. Lot was a believer and a righteous man but carnal in attitude and greedy in motivation. Yet, God not only showed grace in His dealings with Lot but even magnified mercy!

As appropriate for the principle of first mention in Scripture, this first reference to mercy lays the foundation for the dominant theme of the doctrine of mercy throughout Scripture. The key is that God’s mercy can only be described properly in superlatives, and this fact is noted repeatedly throughout Scripture.

“The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,” said David (Psalm 103:17). “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (Psalm 103:11). His mercy, therefore, is both eternal and infinite. Nothing could ever be more “magnified” than this!

No wonder, therefore, that Paul says He is “rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4), and Peter tells us that “his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

It is only “according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5), surely “not [because of any] works of righteousness which we have done.” Therefore, with David, we can say, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalm 23:6). HMM

My soul doth magnify the Lord The

Luke 1:26-33, 35, 38-40, 46-55

The birth of the forerunner being near, it was now time for the Lord himself to be spoken of.

Luke 1:26-33, 35, 38-40, 46-55

The person chosen to be the mother of the Lord Jesus was a lowly maid, but she was also a godly woman of no mean ability of mind, for her song is written in the highest style of poetry. To the humble and devout the visitations of the Holy Spirit are granted. The manner in which the angel saluted Mary was highly honourable to her, but affords no ground for the superstitious reverence of the Papists, for “he saluted her as a saint, and did not pray to her as a goddess.” Mary confessed herself a sinner needing salvation, for she rejoiced in God her Saviour; it never entered into her mind to claim the homage of mankind.

It is a great blessing that in answer to earnest prayer the Holy Spirit will come into our hearts, and make us sing as joyfully as Mary did. Christ will dwell in our hearts by faith, and we shall be numbered with those favoured ones of whom Jesus said, “The same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

 

My soul doth magnify the Lord,

My spirit doth rejoice;

To thee my Saviour and my God

I lift my joyful voice.

 

Down from above the blessèd dove

Is come into my breast,

To witness thine eternal love,

And give my spirit rest.

 


Hark, the glad sound, the Saviour comes,

The Saviour promised long!

Let every heart prepare a throne,

And every voice a song.

 

Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace,

Thy welcome shall proclaim;

And heaven’s eternal arches ring

With thy beloved name.

 

You Born of God?

By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place. (Hebrews 9:12)

I think most of us remember with assurance the words of the Charles Wesley hymn which was his own personal testimony:

 

His Spirit answers to the blood,

And tells me I am born of God!

 

Wesley testified here and in many other hymns to an inner illumination!

When I became a Christian, no one had to come to me and tell me what Wesley meant. That is why Jesus taught that whosoever is willing to do His will shall have a revelation in his own heart. He shall have an inward revelation that tells him he is a child of God.

Too many persons try to make Jesus Christ a convenience. They reduce Him simply to a Big Friend who will help us when we are in trouble.

That is not biblical Christianity! Jesus Christ is Lord, and when an individual comes in repentance and faith, the truth flashes in. For the first time he finds himself saying, “I will do the will of the Lord, even if I die for it!”

 

Established And Kept

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2Thess. 3:3

Men are often as devoid of reason as of faith. There are with us still “unreasonable and wicked men.” There is no use in arguing with them or trying to be at peace with them: they are false at heart, and deceitful in speech. Well, what of this? Shall we worry ourselves with them? No; let us turn to the Lord, for He is faithful. No promise from His Word will ever be broken. He is neither unreasonable in His demands upon us, nor unfaithful to our claims upon Him. We have a faithful God. Be this our joy.

He will stablish us so that wicked men shall not cause our downfall, and He will keep us so that none of the evils which now assail us shall really do us damage. What a blessing for us that we need not contend with men, but are allowed to shelter ourselves in the Lord Jesus, who is in truest sympathy with us. There is one true heart, one faithful mind, one never changing Love; there let us repose. The Lord will fulfill the purpose of His grace to us, His servants, and we need not allow a shadow of a fear to fall upon our spirits. Not all that men or devils can do can hinder us of the divine protection and provision. This day let us pray the Lord to stablish and keep us.

 

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