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Integrity in Action

posted Nov 1, 2009, 5:16 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Nov 1, 2009, 5:28 PM ]
November 1, 2009
Key Passage: Psalm 15; Luke 10: 25-37

“Integrity in Action”

Psalm 15, one of the shortest of the Psalms, begins by asking “Who may reside in your sanctuary?” and ends with “He who does these things will never be shaken.” Now, I’m about as simpleminded as it gets, but it doesn’t take a genius to see we’d probably do well to take a look at the criteria set forth between those two phrases! Basically, this speaks of integrity in action, and I could think of no better story than the one given from Jesus himself in Luke 10 – “The Good Samaritan.” Listen, one of the prerequisites for being a servant of God is to think like a servant (duh!). This would be fine if it weren’t so hard. There is one thing, among many, that we share as human beings. We’re all selfish. It’s built into our DNA. However, Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Other people mattered deeply to Jesus. He could read their hurt and pain. Scripture says He was a man of sorrows and well-acquainted with grief. Well, where did that grief and sorrow come from if it didn’t come from the suffering of people he encountered? In other words, he was carrying their grief. He was empathizing with their sorrow. Our story today (The Good Samaritan) is not about what you believe, talk about, think about, pray about, or sing about. It’s about what you DO. Intentions (feelings) are a dime-a-dozen. What really counts is what you do with them.

Psalm 15 – “I never knew a man who refused to help the poor who also failed to give at least one admirable
excuse.” Charles Spurgeon

Neighbor – “anyone whose need you see, whose need you are in a position to meet”

  1. “Works” Religion – Luke 10:25-29 (see also Galatians 2:16)
The only way to convince yourself that you can keep God’s commands is to redefine them to your own
liking. For instance, God says to love him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. But we fail
at that, so we redefine the command to mean that we should love God to the best of our ability. Most
of the time. With exceptions for extenuating circumstances. That way, we don’t have to repent, or
confess our sin or ask forgiveness. We want to know what the minimum requirement is.

A. The Passing Priest Luke 10:31
  • “I’ve been in the Temple all day” – Are we just “Sunday” Christians?
  • “I’m in a hurry to get home” – Aren’t we always in a hurry?
  • “Let someone else do it, I’ll pray for him” – James 4:17
B. The Looking Levite Luke 10:32
  • The priest “saw,” where the Levite “looked.” He was very willing (good intentions)
  • “We’ve got a lot of willing people in our church…willing to let somebody else do it.”
  • It’s easier to do nothing…about our kids, our marriages, our community!
  1. “Heart” Religion – Luke 10:33-37 Here is a picture of Christ:
A. He meets us where we are (vs. 33) – we were utterly lost in our own rebellion (sin)
B. He had compassion on us (vs. 33) – we were in need of someone to save us
C. He binds up our wounds (vs. 34) – “oil” is the Holy Spirit…”wine” is the cup/blood
D. He set him on his own beast (vs. 34) – Jesus put the burden of sin on himself
E. He brought him to an inn (vs. 34) – we find shelter and security in the person of Jesus
F. He took care of him (vs. 34) – Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, is always there for us
G. He will come again (vs. 35) – John 14:1-3 says Jesus will come again and receive us

Q: Read Matthew 25:37-46. What does this passage say to you in terms of today’s lesson?
Q: Eternal life isn’t a matter of “what must I do for God?”, but rather, “What God has done for me?”

What, exactly, has God done for you that makes it imperative for you to reach out to others always?

BOTTOM LINE: In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren makes a very radical statement. “If I have no real love for others, no desire to continually serve others, I should question whether Christ is really in my life.” The presence of love in your heart for others and the realization of what you can do to serve them is evidence that you have been born again and Christ is in your heart. The absence of any such activity suggests it may still be all about you. And frankly, the difference defines where you’ll spend eternity!