Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Lamp Unto My Feet and A Light Unto My Path – the Wonderful Word of the Lord.

One of my greatest blessings ... the Word of God. Any problem, any bump in the road, any question can be answered by God’s word.

I’ve heard people say sometimes, “Well the Lord didn’t talk about ________.”  (You fill in the blank.) Yes He did. We just have to be willing to apply concepts to specific issues. It’s what the parables were all about – concepts presented in story form.

For example, do we look at the story of the Good Samaritan, and think, “Oh, that’s only talking about if I meet a Samaritan  ... that’s only if I meet someone who is lying alongside the road who has been robbed ... He wasn’t talking about reaching out to earthquake or flood victims?” No, we actually do get the meaning of the story. We know it’s helping those in need, those whom we don’t necessarily know, people who are perhaps not able to pay us back, etc. We really ARE able to extrapolate from the parable how we should be reaching out to those around us – well mostly. 

Do we also apply it to being patient and kind to the annoyingly “needy” person who has lots of problems and calls at the least convenient time to talk? The one who seems always to be along the side of the road and wounded? Do we give grace in our hearts towards the woman in the checkout who has at least two dozen (or so it seems) children whining and running amuck? Do we even give her a smile or a softly spoken encouragement?

In general, I think we do the Good Samaritan thing pretty well – especially when it’s something we can throw ourselves into for a specific and planned amount of time and then it’s over. 

There! See? I helped! Good deal, well done! 
Check it off the list, 
I’ve done my thing with the Tsunami victims. 
Now back to my life. 

We look at the story of the Good Samaritan and we could say, “Well, he did that. He saw a problem, and took the guy to the inn and he was done.” No, the man said to the host, “Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”  He was involved for the long haul.

Sometimes I think we apply the scripture just as long as it’s convenient to do so – when we have the time, when it doesn’t interfere with our plans, when we’re in the mood or when we’ve deemed the occasion worthy. Harder are the everyday, tedious, needling issues that require longsuffering and patience and continued or repeated action. It requires sacrifice. I heard in a sermon once, “If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not sacrifice.” Brought me up short – look up the definition (biblical from Strong’s – “death”). Maybe not literal death - maybe death to our plans, death to our wants and wishes, death to self.

Sometimes we would rather make excuses.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.  James 1:22-23

I love James – he just doesn’t give me any slack.  Wow! Well, not sure where this came from or why the Lord laid this on my heart today . . . it wasn’t what I started out to write. Maybe I needed to hear it.