Message Series // A Better Way – Part 2
Message Date // June 7, 2020 (Scotty Priest)
During this Co-Vid 19 pandemic season, there are a lot of us who can’t wait to get our lives back to “normal”. We are racing to get back to normal, but what if “normal” wasn’t working? Could it be that one of the gifts God has given us during this time is the understanding that how we were living wasn’t the best for us? What if God has allowed us to slow down and gain a new perspective? For example, maybe God in this time has exposed our lack of compassion for serving others in need. He’s revealed how much of our life revolves around ourselves and our little world…and that when we see someone in need, they are viewed more as an interruption than an invitation. Maybe God is opening our eyes to see that a better way is seeing other people as God sees them.
“Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” – Luke 10:37
Read Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. In this story, there is a religious lawyer who wants to prove his worth as a religious guy by asking Jesus a couple “testy” questions. Jesus answers the man brilliantly by telling a story. The story involves a man who is wounded badly on the side a dirt road…a person in need. Two religious people walk by and avoid helping him. This is followed by a Samaritan, who are a group of people hated by the Jews, that sees the wounded man and goes above and beyond to take care of him. The “enemy” in the story is set up as the unlikely hero by Jesus. This wounded man was seen by a couple people as an “interruption”, but to someone else as an “invitation”. Why is it so easy for us to see others in need as more of an interruption than an invitation? Share a situation in your life that exposes this reality.
Sometimes is can be very overwhelming to know how to serve others when there seems to be so many needs. But just like the Samaritan in Jesus’ story, it can simply begin by seeing the need that is right in front of you. Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with all the needs and ways you can serve? Has this ever paralyzed you or created a sense of indifference when it comes to acting upon a need?
As followers of Jesus, we need to stay committed to compassion. Even when we don’t want to…it starts with what is in front of us…it is a constant choosing to be a good neighbor…and it necessitates that we don’t rule out certain people in need. Why is it easy to experience “compassion fatigue”? Why do we want certain parameters around who and in what ways we want to meet needs? How come Jesus always seems to be challenging us with how and when we serve others?
A pastor named Andy Stanley once said…”Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.” We can’t personally meet everyone’s needs, but we can at least meet someone’s need. Who is someone in need that God has put on your heart? What is one next step you can take to meet that need? How can your small group help you take that step?