Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.
Luke 10:25-37 is about the parable of the good Samaritan.
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
This is what I say as well…go and do likewise for he who is your neighbor does not have to be the person who lives next door to you, but those whose paths you cross.
When we are told to “love thy neighbor as you love yourself” it is to be understood that neighbor does not mean in direct contact of living quarters, but those with whom you come in contact with, and it does not have to be someone you always see, but strangers as well.
Mark 12:30-31:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
This tells us that we need to start at home with the love and understanding and at home by caring for ourselves. If you cannot give yourself love and respect you will find it hard to show love and respect to others. With this in mind I ask all to think of yourself today, give yourself some love and respect. Spend some me time and relax and do something special. When you take good care of yourself, you can give better care to those who need you. You can be a better citizen and neighbor. Have confidence in yourself, for you are not a failure even when you feel you have faltered. There are many ruts in the long road to salvation and the person who can pick themselves back up and accomplish their goals. As I’ve said in other days, just because you didn’t reach your goal does not mean you failed because the intent to do is there.
As well as helping others and working on yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The truth is said in John Dunne’s poem, No Man Is An Island.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee
Being independent is a good quality in a person, but to shut oneself off from all others is not. Get involved in the lives of those you love and in the works of community. Be part of your community and work to better all around you as you work to better yourself.
No one is an island, and no one can do the entire job of civilization, but each one is important to be a piece or the puzzle that keeps order without chaos.
Philippians 4:13:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Remember that. You can do what you need to do when you lean on Christ and he will give you the strength to carry on and to help others do the same.
Psalm 18:1: “I love you, God..you make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight”.
My Dearest Lord, you know me inside and out and you know all of my pains and my angst. You understand my heart and know my fears as well as my strengths. You suffered for me on the cross and you went before me, into the darkness and lit the way so that I would not stumble.
My strength comes from your endless love, and it is through you that I can remove all barriers and defeat all enemies that offer me temptations and know that this would only be disgrace and chaos if I give in to their call. You are my beacon in the night and my everlasting salvation. I am happy to be bathed in your love.