How Far Should We Go For Love

27 …”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.” …29b “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:29–37

“Who is our neighbor?” contemplates the idea of how far should we go for love. The late singer Andrae Crouch song a heartfelt reflection of this question with these words…“I don’t know why Jesus loved me. I don’t know why he cares; I don’t know why he sacrificed his life for me. But I’m glad he did.”  In our text, the orthodox nuance of the question “who is our neighbor”, was the inquirers attempt to establish boundaries for whom and how we are to love. He seeks a mental understanding, but fails to engage the heart thus revealing an insufficient perception of God. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 Therefore Jesus desiring to develop the listeners’ spiritual nature and attitude, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God,Rom 8:14 responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Truly understanding theology of the gospel is to put love into practice. But, how far should we go for love? Jesus is an intense revelation of love; He gave His life for us Jn 3:16) and taught that we are to have selfless Samaritan love for others. When we live in the realm of the Holy Spirit, our moral practices and attitudes reflect our idea of God, who is love..1 Jn 4:8 Are we to go to and care for the sick, provide resources, housing, transportation, overcome traditions and bigotry like the Samaritan in the text? Yes and much, much more. The tentacles of Godly love are innumerous and powerful.  As The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. suggested in his April 3, 1968, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, we ought not to think in the vein of the Levite and the Priest who might have asked ” if I stop to help this injured man what will happen to me?”  Whereas The Good Samaritan must ask, “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” This is Christ centered, a heartfelt question, this is love. Our spiritual nature and attitude should call us to a greater love; a Christ shaped consciousness is necessary to live a genuinely Christian life in which love thrives. It is no surprise that Luke, the only Apostle that was a physician, wrote this solitary account of the parable, which shows the great healing power of an act of love.   But, just how far should we go for love? We must become determined to be a Samaritan vessel through which God who loves us gives an overwhelming victory in trouble, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger even violent death Rom 8:35;37Our conscience must rise to the mind of Christ, the love of God. My sisters and brothers there is a neighbor waiting to ponder the lyrics I don’t know why you did what you did; I don’t know why you cared. That someone would be so glad you did. Will you be a Good Samaritan, a vessel of love today? 

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Von Crigler

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