Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rich in Liberty

Grace makes us rich.

"But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'

Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?

He said, 'The one who showed him mercy.' And Jesus said to him, 'You go, and do likewise.' " Luke 10:33-37 ESV

We often hear the story of the 'Good Samaritan' and think of it as a moral story but really it is a spiritual one.

The priest and the Levite worried about being unclean. That is why they crossed the street. Being unclean meant time off from work. They were 'company men'... their time, money and even clothing did not belong to them per se. The Samaritan was a traveling entrepreneur. His time and money was his own. He had money to spend on the hurt person and a will to do it. He used his will as he wanted. Funny... God said the traveling man was a true neighbor to a stranger.

Here is another parable coming from a different angle. But this one reveals the source of riches...

"He also told them a parable: 'Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.'

For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?' " Luke 6:39-46 ESV

We can say 'Lord, Lord' as moral people today and still cross the street. Why, because our humanity is a log in front of our eyes. We are stuck in roles like the priest and Levite were. Here is why we are rich.

"Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great." Luke 6:47-49 ESV

Grace gives us a foundation in the person of God and not surface behaviors. Founded on the rock we can be travelers in this world with real spiritual currency and the liberty to spend it on what and whoever we want to.

It is not some moral obligation to help that is the issue. If I live there I am just blinded by my own self interest with a cloak of goodness.

God reveals the neighborly relationships and opportunities to a person who hears His voice. Grace provides denarii in the moment and the denarii needed on the way back.

God fill us with your Spirit. We might not have silver or gold but make us rich neighbors as we travel our road today.

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