A good Samaritan

Luke 10:25 and following where Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25One day an expert in the law stood up to test Him. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26“What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?”

27He 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 said. “Do this and you will live.”

29But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30Jesus took up this question and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.

31Now by chance a priest was going down the same road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32So too, when a Levite came to that spot and saw him, he passed by on the other side.

33But when a Samaritan on a journey came upon him, he looked at him and had compassion. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he said, ‘and on my return, I will repay you for any additional expense.’

36Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37“The one who showed him mercy,” replied the expert in the law. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

In the world that we live in today, there are many people who are like the man who was robbed and beaten. They are left on the side of the road or wherever they may be and others just walk by hoping that someone will help them. Some even take pictures with their phones but nobody seems to want to get involved. Why? Is it because we are afraid we might be responsible for this person? Are we more afraid that we might be charged with the crime of assault if we help him or her? There are as many reasons for people to not help others as there are people who just walk by and do nothing more than look.

Jesus said that we are supposed to help our neighbor regardless of the situation or circumstances but how many of us do this? Life is hard enough without trying to help everyone you come across but what about those who truly need the help? Don’t they deserve a helping hand? God loves them just as much as He loves you and for you to show His love to others by helping them is the least that you can do to show that you are following Christ.

Does this show that people are not showing the love of Christ to others today? Yes, because you rarely hear of any “good deeds” that are done for others without asking or seeking something in return. When news gets out of someone doing something like this it is treated as an aberration, totally out of character for a human being. We need to become more like Jesus today than we are, but there are so many who seem to be running as fast as possible in the other direction. Our world would benefit greatly if there were even ten percent of all of humanity who would do things for other people without expecting anything in return. What a wonderful world it would be.

How much more?

We are thankful and we were thankful yesterday, so how much more thankful will we be today? I have seen shoppers at stores who are waiting all night to get in when the door opens and some of them are pushing and shoving so they can be first in getting what they want and getting out of the store.

What happened between being thankful for God’s blessings and bounty and getting more stuff? How much more will we choose to get so we can be fashionable or in step with our neighbors? Do we really HAVE to have that new doodad that came out a few weeks ago? What about paying off your credit cards as a gift to yourself or your spouse? What about giving to your church or to the homeless shelter in town instead of spending over five hundred dollars on something that will be gathering dust in a couple of months? Does 4K resolution really matter that much when you are watching the Super Bowl in February? Does the price you pay for that resolution really bring you more satisfaction while watching any TV show?

All of these questions are the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves long before we wake up at three am in order to be close to the front of the line this morning! What really is more important to you and your family? That is an even better question. Have you considered your relationship to Jesus in all of this too? I am a pastor and these questions do go through my mind about myself and about those who attend my church. I pray for all of the people out there who are traveling today and for those who are working today because they need God’s protection and His blessing, whether they realize it or not.

During the holiday season, which seems to have gotten off to a running start yesterday afternoon. Yes, many stores opened early, around four or five yesterday, just to get people out of the house and into the stores shopping. I don’t think I will ever get out there and into the thick of the lines and the crowds. It’s just too much!

God needs your energy and your presence in His family too and if more people would spend even ten percent of their time and money for His work, out world would be so much better than it is now! How is that possible? Because ten percent of the billions spent on gifts during this weekend could go a LONG way toward helping the homeless, both Veterans and non-veterans alike! It would also go a long way toward helping the hungry in the world too.

God can use your blessings in any number of different ways, but if you spend all of your cash on “stuff” and not on helping others, then what are you really doing? You are showing others that “stuff” is more important to you than serving God. During the holidays it seems that many people do just that and it makes me wonder what is keeping them from helping the church? What is keeping them from coming to church when they can get up before sunrise to get to a store and be one of the first through the doors?

Something to ponder during this Christmas season when we are supposed to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus! He didn’t tell us to go and spend, Jesus said go and TELL others about Him!

What is your trigger?

It seems that today, people get “ticked off” at the drop of a pin or anything that has happened to someone who they don’t know at all. Maybe they have something in common with that person and feel that it, whatever “it” was, was directed at them in general. Such as the people who protest against police violence toward “black men”. They are protesting because they perceive that all police are racist and have a chip on their shoulders against all people of color. Which is not true, but for some reason it is coming to the front of news stories more and more today. Why?

Some would say that it is because it is happening more often and that the violence is justified. The “trigger” is very subtle though and it is not happening more often, it is because everyone in the street has a smart phone and it is capable of recording video of anything, anywhere and at any time. There doesn’t have to be a news crew around, but by recording an event, regardless of its significance, and uploading it to the Internet then it may become newsworthy.

I have a trigger which moves me to pray for all of those who come to this site and read or just look around. I don’t know most of you, but God does. Even if you have never attended church or sat through a sermon, God knows who you are. He values you above the riches of the whole world. He loves you enough that if you were the last person on Earth, He would want you as His adopted child. It isn’t fear or anger or frustration which drives us, it is our collective need for this world to be healed and all of the problems which we face every day to be taken care of. Only Jesus can do this.

Other religions boast of having more followers or having larger church buildings or worship centers, it doesn’t matter what they are called. If you aren’t worshiping God and His Son, Jesus, then you are in the wrong building. I know, there are many who would tell me that my way of thinking is too small or non-inclusive of others, but aren’t most religions today? Islam doesn’t allow for other faiths, you have to accept theirs, yet no one ever tells them to be quiet and not pray or not tell others about their faith. It is the same with any other faith in the world, with the exception of Christianity. We, who are Christians, and believe God’s Word can’t read our Holy Scriptures in public. We cannot pray openly, we cannot tell others about our Savior because it offends people.

Jesus said to turn the other cheek when someone strikes you. I think we have done that far too often, yet we are still doing it. Why? Because, Jesus said for us to endure persecution to the end and we will be saved. Is this world going to be better in the future? Yes, it will when Jesus sets up His Kingdom and rules the world from Jerusalem. But, until that time comes we must endure.

Yes, there is anger and bitterness in many cities today but there is also…hope. Hope for tomorrow, hope for a peaceful day today, hope for reconciliation between police and those who protest against them. Where does this spirit of hope come from?


The world can’t give you hope, but He can. The world doesn’t care about you or your circumstances, but He does. The world is ruled by the spirit of Antichrist, Satan and his followers and it shows in the news and in our papers every day. Jesus loves you and wants all of us to share in His love but in order to do that, we need to accept Him and then share Him with others too.

Happy Birthday, America!


I know this is supposed to be a site where you learn more about God and your salvation but the birthday of America wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for people of faith.

Our land has been around for 240 years, or at least that is how long it has been since our Declaration of Independence was put forth. Life around our land would be very different if it weren’t for the influence of Christian leaders and the beliefs of those who started our land on its way to becoming the greatest nation in the world. It is true that some people don’t think that of her anymore, even some people who live here and are benefiting from her generosity.

America has been a light for people to turn to when they need to find their way and it has been a place of refuge for many people as well. It is true that in the past some really terrible and horrible mistakes have been made regarding the treatment of Indians and Africans who were brought here to be slaves. These things shouldn’t have happened, but they did and the worst part is that we either have swept what happened under a rug and out of  the history books or we just ignore what happened altogether.

The biggest problem that we have today is that just when we think that we may have crossed the line toward better relations between the “races”, something happens that is done by one person with an off-kilter way of looking at life and here we go again.

Then you see the old hatred and bitterness come boiling up and we are at the same point in our nation as we were when there were race riots and clashes with the police on television every night. It tends to confuse the kids who have grown up without it and many of them wonder “Why?”

Why do we have to rewind an old tape that was worn out years ago?

Yes, there were many atrocities committed during those times and before then, but can’t we stop dragging the past into the present? Make a new day and a new way of getting along with one another! Stop looking at their skin color or their music and just listen to each other for once. Begin to TALK to one another, not texting but talking! Put the phones down and sit down and talk! Turn the TV off and talk to your kids or grand kids about the past but also about the future…their future!

Don’t repaint their future with the brush that you used when you were their age! Help them find a better one, one that is positive about what may happen in the future and not drag the negative parts of history in to cover up the progress that has been made!

America can be great again, if we as Americans will stand up and take our country back and MAKE it better! Shuffling money around from the rich to the poor won’t do anything but cause more problems. Fixing the things which are wrong is going to take more than a new President or a new set of laws or regulations. It is going to take Americans getting together and working toward fixing the problems one at a time!

So much..so little

It is a contradiction but, with God in the picture even a contradiction works. How do I know? Read the story of Jesus feeding so many with so little, like the five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men. Some say that there were likely fifteen thousand souls there at least and yet there were twelve baskets left over from a lunch meant for one child.

God can use even a little talent in a big way, no matter how you see yourself or where you may be in the world. But, you have to give Him control of your talent and yourself before He can use it to bless others. Just as when a farmer plants a seed or a plant in the ground, it is only one at the time. But with water, air and sunlight it can become much more than one seed or one plant.

We, as Christians, are like that as well. God places His Spirit in us when we are saved and we are supposed to nurture it with care and feed it by prayer and the Word of God. By studying God’s Word, we feed the Spirit and like Jesus said “it will overflow as a river of living water” to all who are exposed to it. True, it may not be His exact words but that is what we are supposed to be, springs of living water to draw the world to Him by what they see or hear in us.

God can use each of us in ways that we can’t imagine or even believe that we could do. But, with His Spirit guiding us we can do so much more than just be ourselves. We can be His ambassadors and representatives to anyone who is searching for the Truth. It doesn’t take much. A prayer here or helping someone with their load in some way. Opening the door for someone, praying for someone who you don’t know.

These things are “works” true enough, and they don’t get you a spot inside the gates of Heaven. Giving your life and your heart to Jesus gets you into Heaven, the “works” are part of the life that you live after you accept Him. These are the results of your salvation, the fruits of your life in Christ that never would’ve grown out of your life if you had not given your heart to Jesus.

Just as James wrote in his epistle, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18, he wasn’t speaking of works being required by your faith but as a result of your salvation. The works that you do will prove your faith and your salvation! God loves each of us so deeply that we won’t understand it until we are in His presence, but He hates the sins that we have lived with in our life. Repent and turn to Him, give your heart and your life to Him so that you will be saved.

Whom do you believe?

Many religions in our world today purpose to worship men. Men who are dead and have turned to dust or dried up husks in the grave. Why would you worship these who are nothing more than portions of creation itself? Living and breathing in our world is a wonderful grace that God gives to us, hard though it may be at times. Dead men don’t give any such grace or knowledge to us while we live or dream, only God our Creator will do this. We will not see Him, but our spirits will recognize our Creator and God when we hear and feel His calling.

So, whom do you believe in and determine to follow? There are many so-called “prophets”, even to hundreds of years before Christ. Some were in Eastern nations such as India and China, some came a few hundred years after Christ in the Middle Eastern nations. The difference between them and our Lord Jesus is that they lie in graves or have turned to dust while Jesus stands at the right hand of God, alive and well.

Some portions of the Middle Eastern religion say that Jesus is a servant of Allah, which is not true. God the Creator is not Allah, He is God. It is easy to place a name upon One whom you have not seen and give Him a name which you want Him to have and yet is a name which is not His Name. God doesn’t share His glory with any other god because He is God and there is none other!

The Bible speaks of God in three persons. The Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God, the Angel of the Lord or the pre-incarnate Christ and Jesus and of course God the Father. The One that we, as Christians, worship is a Triune Godhead. Being God doesn’t diminish His Spirit nor does it take away from the Son, Jesus the Christ. Trying to make the Son of God into a servant of Allah is blasphemy and is completely wrong.

God sent His Son into the world in order to redeem the world and all of those in it from the consequences of their sins. The only requirement is that they each believe in Him and that He did this for them, repenting of your sins and my sins and following His example in our lives. Following Him every day so that others may see the joy and the example that He set for us to follow and to do. We are not to do it selfishly or in response to the dictates of man, but selflessly and by the order of Jesus. Be a reflection of Him in all that you do every day, in your words and deeds so that you will glorify Him until He comes to take us to our eternal Home.

Give something back

You have heard about those who “pay it forward” haven’t you? Oh, they have dropped out of the main news lately because there is so much more meaty and interesting things to show than some person paying for an elderly couple behind him or her in line. I think those people are still around, but it just doesn’t carry the same interest factor as shootings, and rapes and robbery or a wreck that killed a family. Yeah, paying it forward doesn’t do that much anymore. But, how much interest could it generate if you gave someone something. Something that they needed for class or a project in school or even for someone who could use it at their job, would that stir someone else to do something? Would that get the attention of the news media?

Of course when I mention giving someone something, everyone thinks of money but it’s not always money that is the need, at least not for most of life anyway. Yes, money is necessary today but an excess of it doesn’t really do most people any good. Look at the lives of the people who have won lottery winnings, most of them don’t have the money that they won after five years or so, no matter how much they won to begin with.

Giving away something that is tangible but useful is better than money. Getting people to really think about what they can give is even more useful, but idealists don’t last long in our society. It seems that most people want to either poke fun at what they are doing or they just look at what they are doing and treat it as an oddity or something unusual in a good way but nothing more.

Life, yours and mine, is more than just getting stuff or at least it should be. Please, leave me your thoughts on this. Think of something like a real movement that we could implement, not just me alone but all over America or even the world itself! We need something today that gives people hope for the future, regardless of the situation that they find themselves in. Yes, this is a hard request but I pray that between all of us putting our “thinkin’ caps” on maybe we can come up with something.