Welcome to Church on the Hill, Glenavon, Sask, Canada

Friday, November 7, 2008

Are You a Good Samaritan?

Scripture: Luke 30:25-37

Next Sunday – Nov 12th, is Pastor Appreciation Day and Pastor Lorne said he wanted us to know it was his privilege to be our Pastor. He said there are challenges but it’s his and Dianne’s privilege to be able to walk through those times with us.

He also said the church is blessed to have people willing to lead worship and teach Sunday School and to step in whenever there’s a need. He said when you listen to the words in the songs of praise and worship, you realize what a privilege it is to be able to live for and serve Him.

He said the message was meant to encourage you and he wanted to start by telling a little story. It’s about a minister who told his congregation his topic for the next week’s sermon was going to be ‘lying’. In preparation, he wanted everyone to read the 14th chapter of Hebrews. So the next Sunday, he asked who read Hebrews 14 and a lot of people put up their hands. That set up his message on ‘Liars’ real good because Hebrews only has 13 chapters. (chuckles)

Pastor Lorne said in Luke 10 we find the story of the ‘Good Samaritan’. Verse 25 says, ‘On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " '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, 'Love your neighbor as yourself’." "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Pastor Lorne said we might ask that question, too.

Then, Jesus went into the story of The Good Samaritan.

Pastor Lorne said you know this story: This man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho – he imagined him to be a Jewish man – and along the way, some thieves—robbers—jumped out, knocked him down, beat him up, took everything he had and the Bible says, left him half dead on the side of the road.

Pastor Lorne said he’s just paraphrasing it but a priest came along and the Bible says he walked around the man and kept going. And then a Levite did the same thing: walked around the man and kept going. And then a Samaritan came. Now, the Samaritans and the Jews didn’t get along very well. The Samaritans were despised by the Jews. He said this happens in many countries where aboriginals are sometimes treated as second class citizens. That’s what was happening here but the Bible says the Samaritan stopped and picked him up.

He said we’ll pick it up here in v33: ‘But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.’ So, the Samaritan say the man, saw the need, and felt pity for him. He felt like he had to do something for him.

Have you ever had that happen? Pastor Lorne reminded us of the time he was having coffee and saw a man who looked like he might be in need and out of nowhere, a pastor (whom PL new) stepped forward and offered the man help, said he’d get him a room for the night and a ride in the morning. This pastor was being a Good Samaritan – he looked after the man’s needs. That’s important.

Pastor Lorne said a man went into a town, much the size of Glenavon, and drove around and there were 4 churches in that town. And you could tell the churches were having a hard time; the buildings weren’t been kept up and there weren’t that many cars in the parking lot on Sunday morning. So, he asked a lady from one of the churches, ‘How’s your church doing?’ And the lady replied, ‘Not very good...but thank God not of the other churches are either.’ (Groans)

But, he continued, this wasn’t the Good Samaritan’s idea. He stopped, had pity on the man, then did something about it. Even though it cost him, he poured oil and wine on the man, tied us his wounds, put him on his donkey and took him to an inn. Overnight, he cared for this man. Probably brought him water, changed his dressing, made him comfortable, did whatever he needed. Pastor Lorne said, “If you’ve looked after someone who was sick, you know what I’m talking about.”

When morning came, the Good Samaritan had to leave. So, he went to the innkeeper, gave him 2 silver coins and told him to look after the wounded man. He said when he returned, he would reimburse him for any extra expense he may have had.

Pastor Lorne said this is really going the extra mile. He could’ve just got the bleeding stopped, bandaged him up, and left him on the side of the road to wait for someone else to come along - maybe with a wagon to take him in. But no, he didn’t say, I’ve done my part now someone else can take over. Instead, he looked after him all night, and did what he could the next day even.

Pastor Lorne said he read that passge over and over and it struck him that this man really new what it was to give. He didn’t just throw a cheque out because he had a big bank account and it wouldn’t make much difference to him. Instead, he became involved and gave of his time as well as his money.

Pastor Lorne said he had a chance to meet the new General Superintendant of our church and his big thing is relationships. He doesn’t look at the Fellowship as a big blanket, but he looks at you as individuals and how we need to make relationships with people and be there to bless and to help and in cases, to lead to the Lord.

And, that’s what this Samaritan was all about. It was a relationship with him. It wasn’t throwing money at the problem, or going to tell someone else about the problem. It was becoming involved and developing a relationship with this wounded man. We don’t know if the man was unconscious or could communicate, but the Samaritan did all those things to help this man who most likely, if the tide was turned the other way around, wouldn’t have helped him because he was a despised Samaritan. Pastor Lorne said that, to him, was real giving and real generosity.

In v36, Jesus asks, ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Pastor Lorne says there are people in our own congregation who do things like that. People who will stop and help someone... become involved in their life for a little while. He said it’s a great thing to have people giving and showing the love of Christ.

He mentioned a man he knew who’d sit in his living room and watch the highway, about a quarter of a mile away. If he saw a hitchhiker, he’d go pick him up, bring him home, give him a meal. More often than not, he’d buy him a bus ticket, put him on the bus and send him to where he was going.

Acts of generosity and kindness that make a big difference in people’s lives. Maybe talk to them about the Lord. Maybe pray with them. And, it would make such a big difference in lives of people to know that this person has a real relationship with God

Pastor Lorne said he just wanted to leave you with this because he knows you are already doing it and not to be afraid to become involved in being a Good Samaritan because he knows God will bless you and what you’ll receive will be a lot more than what you give out.

He said he knows some people whose whole purpose is to get whatever they can out of live. They are like octopuses with their hands out and they’re just taking and taking. And the more they take, it seems, the more they have to take. And it’s because there’s no satisfaction. There’s this big hole and they keep sucking and sucking. He said he actually feels sorry for these people. There whole lives are spent seeing how much money they can make. If they need to run over somebody to do it, they will. They’ll just grab and take yet there’s no satisfaction there.

The Bible talks about putting money in a bag with holes. Or the wind just blowing it away.

Pastor Lorne said when we realize the goodness of God and know that He has everything—Scripture says he has cattle on a thousand hills—that our acts of generosity aren’t going to be bleak. We’re His resource, His children. And, He can just pour down His blessings upon you until you can’t contain them – until they’re almost too much.

Pastor Lorne said awhile back, a lady from the spa in Moose Jaw phoned him and said he and Dianne had a room all paid for whenever they wanted. Pastor Lorne said that was pretty nice. He asked if she could tell him who paid for it and she said she’d better not. (chuckles) He said it was Dianne’s birthday in a couple days, so he brought her down and they were given one of the nice, new rooms – a huge room with a balcony. He said they had a great time but he still has no idea who paid for it. He said he even tried to ask at the front desk who did it but the clerk wouldn’t tell him, either. Pastor Lorne said it was a blessing from God and it was just great.

He said the blessings from God are great...how he works in our lives and does things. He said the other day he was trying to break up clumps of hay and he turned a corner and a wheel fell off the cultivator. He said he was so close to being done...so he went up and picked the wheel up and there lying beside the wheel was this long pry bar that he’d lost about 6 yrs ago. He said he’d thought he’d broke the axle, but just a nut had fallen off – not a hard thing to fix but because of it, he found his tool.

Pastor Lorne said God has a way of blessing us and making things happen in our lives. He said he doesn’t think we can ever ‘out-gift’ God and that if you open up your heart and show God that you can be a witness for Him, He’ll give you the opportunity to show His goodness to others...that Jesus died for you – loved you so much that He gave his life for you.

The cross was the ultimate sacrifice. God couldn’t have given any more. He sent heaven’s best to this earth. Not only to live among us, teach us and heal our sick, but to give His life so that you and I could have a personal relationship with God. And one day, spend eternity with Him.

If you would like to speak to Pastor Lorne about this, please email .


David E. Holt said...

What a gentle, loving person this pastor seems to be! He doesn't condemn, he acknowledges a believ that he's preaching to people who live the Good Samaritan kind of lives. Great preaching. We have more than enough of we pastors who seem to want to lay guild and shame on their members in order, I presume, to get more work, loyalty, obedience to God out of them. Wrong-headed preaching! By contrast, Jesus seemed to lift up the sinner by assuming the best from them. It had a wonderful way of changing their lives, bringing out the potential which God had placed there. Keep going, my brother!
David E. Holt

Anita Mae Draper said...

Mr. Holt - thank you for your kind comment on our blog.

Pastor Lorne is indeed a humble, gentle pastor and as down-to-earth as they come.

We are a small church and I know I speak for all the mbrs in the congregation, when I say we are blessed to have him guiding us.

Have a God day and stay strong.