So much of life can get stuck in the ‘learn this’, ‘learn that’ and ‘study hard’, information hunting and gathering cycle. We grow up being taught so that we learn more. Pushed to learn more, know more, understand more.
Learning more is an awesome thing – a necessary thing. We need to be people of reflections, learning, growing in knowledge and understanding.
Education does matter.
But friends, there comes a time where we must become people who take action more than people who take notes.
That’s the premise that Jesus gets into in one of his most famous parables as he tells the story of the Good Samaritan. A person who took action. Saw a need. Was able to meet a need. So he stepped up and stepped in to meet the need.
Jesus invites us into a lifestyle as His followers to “go and do likewise” in our here and now. To be a neighbor to those around us. To not try to limit who that might include or exclude – but rather to BE a neighbor and live a life of love to those around us.
“One cannot define one’s neighbor; one can only be a neighbor. Your neighbor is anyone whose need you see, whose need you are able to meet.”
– Haddon Robinson
Love calls us to action, not mere mental reflection on why love matters.
Love requires 3 things we see in this parable:
- love requires attention – we must see the need, become aware to it.
- love requires affection – our heart must be moved with compassion to respond
- love requires action – we actually respond; that our love does something about it
Now, you may look around the world – your world and be overwhelmed by the ‘needs’ of those around you. It’s true: you can NOT meet every need. You’re a limited resource.
But you can meet the ‘next’ need you see and have capacity to do something about. You can prayerfully ask God to empower you to love and respond as He brings folks needs your way. You can do for ONE what you wish you could do for EVERYONE.
We can all become aware, care and take action to do something for someone.
We can all put God’s love on display through the actions of our hands and not merely have the knowledge of His love in our hearts.
We can all: Go and Do likewise.
*watch my sermon on this passage HERE