“You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself” - Mosaic Lawyer, Luke 10:27
About an hour ago (from the time I wrote this) I was in a very typical scenario, I had just parked in a parking garage, got out of my car and was headed to my “study spot” (a local coffee shop in Dallas) as I heard to my right a car cranking over and over again, but not fully starting. I continued to walk, as I walked I could hear the battery of the vehicle begin to wear down, and by the time I was out of sight of the “bad car day,” I could tell that the battery was almost completely dead.
What struck me was where my heart was toward this man and his car problems. Instead of instantly turning around to offer help to this guy, with the intent of showing love to him and the opportunity to share the gospel with him, I instantaneously began to create legitimate excuses to myself why I was by no means obligated to help this guy. I had no jumper cables with me, I didn’t know if he even “wanted” help, there are plenty of people in this parking garage, one of them probably has cables and will help the guy.
I had reached the coffee shop by the time I quieted my heart enough for the Holy Spirit to speak to me, convict my heart deeply, and I turned back around, headed to the parking garage where I should never had left before “loving my neighbor as myself.”
The Holy Spirit wasted no time in revealing to me the darkness still rooted in my heart. It was a matter of comfort and convenience, helping that guy was neither, and I found the idolatry of both in my heart. As I got back to the coffee shop to study the Lord prompted me to study Luke 10, where Jesus tells the young Lawyer the parable of the Good Samaritan.
The whole conversation between the Lawyer and Jesus started with the Lawyer asking Jesus how he could inherit eternal life? Jesus responded with, “well what does the Law say?” The Lawyer quoted Deuteronomy 6:5, and Jesus said that he had answered correctly. It didn’t stop there, Luke said that the lawyer, “trying to justify himself” asked another question, “Who is my neighbor?” After my walk out of the parking garage full of excuses, I could identify my selfish heart well with the lawyer, priest and the levite. Jesus answered the lawyer’s question with the parable of the Good Samaritan. And finishing the parable Jesus said, “You go, and do likewise.”
What was this young ambitious lawyer to do “likewise”? It was quite clear by the actions of the Good Samaritan. And to be honest, the Lawyer had already said it well:
You shall love the Lord your God:
- with all your heart
- with all your soul
- with all your strength
- with all your mind, and
- your neighbor as yourself (this being the outcome of first four)
Both parenting and student ministry are deeply hopeless in their ambitions without these elements. Whether you be a parent, youth pastor or youth leader, your participation in the sanctification of the students you have been given authority over is void of validity without first loving your God, with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your strength, and all of your mind With the result of this intimacy showing its fruit in your love and passion for your students. Loving in this relentless manner will never be found in the whelms of comfortable or convenient.
In this past week, how many people have we “passed along the roadside” full of legitimate excuses as to why our stopping and helping would not be needed or necessary? Do we really realize that our confessed love for our God demands us to love our neighbor as ourselves?
As you go about your busy and hectic schedule this week remember your mandate, “You go, and do likewise.”