"A SEASON TO LOVE YOUR FELLOWMAN"
We are quickly approaching the Holiday season announcing the birth of Christ. Although some would dispute that this was not the Lord’s birthday, what is most important is, that season was used by Christians to show the love of God to our fellowman. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:11-14 That season of joy brought with it, a flow of “good will and giving” demonstrated all over the earth towards our fellowman. This should not stop, but should continue all year long. In Luke 10:27 it reads, “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” We are compelled by the Holy Spirit to love our fellowman as ourselves. Our Lord Jesus instructed us to love God with all our strength, heart and soul which is our total being and in the same breath “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Then, in this same chapter, the example of the good Samaritan is given to us. “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side: But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him; he had compassion on him.” Luke 10:30-33 This poor soul fell among thieves that attacked him, took his clothes and possessions. If this was not enough, then they stabbed him, thinking they had killed him, leaving him for dead. What a terrible thing to do to this man. The thief always comes to kill, steal and destroy. He was left there for dead, then mercy and compassion showed up. Jesus has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly. “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: And when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” Luke 10:33-35
***THE RELIGIOUS CROWD***
This poor man was laying there bleeding and dying by the Jericho road. He was wounded, helpless and needed mercy. The first person to come along was the priest, the man of God and what did he do? He passed by on the other side. Yes, the priest looked and probably thought “I’m on my way to church, I’m too busy; therefore, let me go around him and go take care of my business.” No compassion, no mercy did this man have! Then a Levite came along, also looked on him and also passed by on the other side. The Levite was the lay church member and he probably thought, “I’ve got to get to church because I don’t dare be late for Sunday School.” Today, there are many “onlookers," people that come and look at your problem or situation and say, “I heard you were having problems” or “I heard that you were hurting; I’ll pray for you, I’ll see you later.” And that is as far as their Christianity goes. Thank God that the God of compassion and mercy had His eye on the wounded man all the time. Then, along came the Samaritan who was also going somewhere on personal business, but when he saw this man, he had mercy and compassion towards him. A compassion that moves his heart to go beyond being an “onlooker” and put his personal business on hold and do something for him!
***POURED IN THE OIL & WINE***
This man had Godly character. He went out of his way, bound up his wounds, poured in his oil and wine, picked him up with his own hands, helped him on his beast and brought him to an inn and personally took care of him! He took responsibility for his fellowman. This Samaritan had more Christianity than the priest and Levite. The priest and Levite were the religious crowd of that day who had forgotten to love with compassion. Today’s church has lost something also, the action of mercy, called compassion towards our brother and fellowman. Compassion is a loving concern, a deep intense desire for the well being of others. We must learn to be like the good Samaritan. What a heart of love!! This man had the heart of God. He personally took care of him. He didn’t call the “ministry to the poor” in the church or welfare as some would do, instead he took responsibility, knowing that God had put that man in his path to do something for him. This good Samaritan went the extra mile. After spending the night with him and personally taking care of him, the next day he gave the inn-keeper two more pence and said, “Now I have to go, but you take care of him and if the bill is more than two pence, when I return, I will reimburse you!!” Our Saviour born two thousand years ago gave us these words, “Go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37) Many today are sitting in the church with thousands of dollars piled up in their savings and checking accounts, and passing up their brethren and fellowman as “onlookers” with no compassion and mercy for their need.
***LET’S LOVE IN DEED AND TRUTH***
Those individuals are described in the book of revelations, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev. 3:17) God’s word tells us that we are blind with our eyes wide open. We are rich and have wealth, yet we are wretched and poor. God help us in America today! In the book of I John 3:17-18 it reads, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” Neither in word or in tongue means that real love will do something more than, “I’ll pray for you!”
***PAUL & ONESIMUS***
In the book of Philemon, the account of Philemon and Onesimus is recorded. Onesimus’ name means profitable. The word profitable means gain, useful, or beneficial. Therefore, God had a purpose and a plan for Onesimus, but he needed compassionate men and women to help him so he could get to the place to be profitable, not unprofitable! Onesimus stole from his wealthy master, then ran away and met up with Paul while in prison. Paul ministered to his needs, led him to the Lord, and sent him back to Philemon. Slaves could be brutally whipped and killed by their masters when they ran away, but Paul said to Philemon, “Receive him as a brother in the Lord now.” “Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:…If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;” (Philemon 11-12, 17-18)
***BLINDED BY SELFISHNESS***
Paul, just as the good Samaritan, also told Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother in the Lord; be just as kind to him as you would be to me. Oh, church we fall so short of the true love of Jesus Christ. Many of us are living unto ourselves and blinded to our own selfishness. Our "givings" many times will not go past any inconvenience or sacrifice on our part. Over the years the Lord has shown me His way to love. When I had two of one thing that someone else needed, the Holy Spirit would say, “Give it to the one in need.” He showed me how to share. I can recall one particular situation. One day, I went to visit a sister and her two children who had no living room furniture and were sitting on the floor. Her husband had left her and she was struggling financially. At that time, we were in transition, being prepared for ministry and the Holy Spirit was showing me His ways of compassion in action. We had some things in storage and among those things I had an extra set of very beautiful couches. The house that we formerly owned had a living room and a den with a set of couches in each room. And now we were living in a much smaller home and had put the extra set in storage. The Holy Spirit dealt with my heart and said, “Give her those beautiful couches.” I obeyed and later that afternoon, my husband and I drove up with those couches in our truck and put them into her living room. She and her little girls were so full of thanksgiving, as we shared the “joy of giving” like we had never experienced before! Beloved, let us love one another with more than tongue and word, but rather in deed and truth and as we do we will please the Father and honor His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord of Glory! Thank you so much for reading this message. If you would like to make a copy or copies of this newsletter, you are welcome to do so. Make sure your copy is in it's entirety and the message should not be changed. Judgment messages are very serious and those declaring them carry a big responsibility. Hilda Arredondo's name and her website http://www.uipwc.com/ and e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org should accompany this message as you print it. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail us. At this point we have no representatives outside this ministry and all business for the ministry is handled by hilda arredondo, 253 Blossom Rd, Opelousas, La. 70570 ( 337-948-1501 337-948-1501 )