Day 6 Monday, June 11, 2018
Bible Reading Luke 6:1-49
Focus Scripture: Luke 6:36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
How often do we place Bible study, church duties, or our routines above human need? Luke 6:1-11 describes how the Pharisees mingled man-made laws into God’s law. The rigidness of their hearts blinded their ability to be of service for the sake of…following the law??? I’ve done this. We do this. We are guilty of allowing an opportunity to pass by when we know we could serve, but instead we go about our own schedules. We don’t want to be inconvenienced. At minimum the religious teachers used “laws” that prohibited and “validated” their excuse. What do we use?
God allowed me an up close and personal encounter that moved me into action.
I was just about to begin my run, as I rounded the corner to access the trail opening I saw a man sitting on the bench. It was a cold day and he had on more layers than I did. Our eyes met and we spoke. As I got almost out of ear shot…
He yelled, “Excuse me Ma’am?”
(Irritation shot up my spine.) “Yes Sir?”
“Do you have a few dollars to spare?”
As I patted my sides, I shook my head, “No Sir, I don’t I’m sorry.”
To which he smiled brightly and replied, “God bless you, no need to apologize,enjoy your day.”
I nodded and returned the blessing to him.
Moving further away my heart began to ache and I felt like I was about to breakdown and cry. There was something I could have done. But it would have inconvenienced me; I would have had to wait to run or not go at all. Breathlessly I called my husband and quickly explained why I needed my wallet. I ran faster in order to meet my Beloved. Feet pounding and heart racing I continued to pray to God for forgiveness, and expressed sorrow for missing an opportunity to be of service. I prayed the gentleman would still be there. He was!!!
On approach, I told him I now had cash and placed it in his hand. Without looking at the amount his eyes watered and he thanked me. I reached out, hugged him, and felt his burly mass slump into my embrace. I hugged tighter. When I pulled back he asked if I would pray for him. I did.
Walking back to my waiting and watchful husband I realized I had just received an amazing blessing. The more I thought about it, I questioned: what if that had been someone I knew; family member or friend that was homeless, living in a shelter, or even if it were me? How would I want to be treated? It was a profound lesson I will not soon forget. Thank God that this was a gentle teaching of obedience and how I can be used effectively to serve Him by serving others.
I share this story because we often miss the little ways we can be a blessing. We think that being a blessing is a grand jester, stretching ourselves beyond our financial means or depleting ourselves physically and mentally. I can testify this is not true. It’s usually not about money but the time we take to let others know we care; that they are important enough to have our undivided attention. I haven’t seen “Mr.H” since our encounter, but I believe my husband may have caught glimpses of him. “Mr.H” is someone people may easily ignore because of his espresso colored skin, seeming strength, maturity of age, and joy filled attitude. We think poverty or need has to look miserable, because if one isn’t expressing outward angst, then one must not be suffering.
I’m not perfect and I will get caught up in my to-do list, but today’s reading along with this story reminds me to slow down and ask myself: will this matter in 5 minutes-5 hours-5 days or 5 weeks from now? If not, I am able to stop what I’m doing and enjoy being inconvenienced out of a love for Christ that wills me to do His will.
Facebook Group Questions:
- What opportunities have you missed to be a blessing or provide a need to someone?
- Are you easily agitated when someone needs your help?
- How did God reveal Himself to you in this chapter?
A Few Points:
• The Pharisees questioned why Jesus’ disciples picked(worked) grain while walking through the fields on the Sabbath. Luke 6:1-5
• The Pharisees questioned why Jesus would heal on the Sabbath as it was a day of rest from all work. Luke 6:6-10 Jesus’ response outraged the Pharisees as it further pointed out their callous misunderstanding of God’s original command. It infuriated them to the point of revenge. Luke 6:11
• Jesus prays before selecting the twelve disciples (which would become His apostles) seeking guidance from the Father. Jesus is the example of how we should not lean to our own understanding but to make sure our decisions are rooted in prayer. Luke 6:12-16
• Jesus delivers the the Beatitudes or blessings. Luke 6:17-23 And the woes or consequences in Luke 6:24-26. Also found in Matthew 5:1-12
• Jesus teaches us to love those that hate and envy us. Luke 6:27-36
• Jesus teaches us not to criticize others. Luke 6:37-42 “Or 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.”
• Jesus teaches us about being effective and productive. What comes out of us is a result of what is inside. Luke 6:43-45
• Jesus teaches us about building our foundations in Him. When we are moved by our emotions we can act accordingly having understood His teaching. If we do not we will ruin the relationships we built because our foundation was not deep enough to withstand the slightest breeze of conflict. Luke 6:46-49
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A special thank you to my Beloved Broderick, Caleb Slaughter and Joshua Slaughter for supporting and tirelessly listening to me read. Thank you to my Mom, Diana Coleman for editing from a distance. I love you all.