Spiritual Musings from an Educated Redneck

An inside look of the mind of Pirate Pops

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

SONS OF DITCHES

Now I don’t mean to be crude with that title but I just wanted to get your attention right off the bat!  Did I do that?  Good.  I have been doing a teaching series titled “The Crazies.”  Each week I am dealing with something we ought to get crazy about.  This week the message is “Let’s Get Crazy about Compassion.”  The text is Luke 10 where Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. 

A man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho down the Jericho road which was known for its danger from robbers.  Sure enough they got him and left him in the ditch after they robbed and stripped him. 

Along came a Priest who passed him by.  Then came a Levite, who was like a Temple assistant to the priests, and he passed him by.  But a Samaritan, passing by, stopped, crawled into the ditch, and pulled the man out.  Then he took him to the next place where he could be cared for and payed for his care! 

Jesus told the story to clarify for a young specialist in the Old Testament law how far our love was to reach.  Jesus had just answered the question for the lawyer, “What is the greatest commandment.”  Jesus said, and I paraphrase, “Love God with everything you are and love your neighbor as yourself.”  The lawyer wanted that definition of neighbor narrowed down a bit so he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” 

So Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.  Jesus made the hero of the story someone the lawyer would have looked down upon.  A Samaritan.  A half-Jew whom any orthodox Jew would look upon as less than human.  Even worse than a Gentile. The hurting person in the story could have been anyone.  Jew, Samaritan, Gentile.  Jesus doesn’t specify.  All he tells us in the story is that the man was in the ditch and needed help. 

The point?  Help him!  He is your neighbor!  Two religious people refused to help but the Samaritan did what was right.

As I thought about this story I thought, “Why would it be the Samaritan who helped and not the others?”  Well perhaps because he was a Samaritan he knew what it was like to be hurt.  He had been hurt all of his life.  Looked down upon, rejected by the Jewish population that surrounded Samaria on all sides.  In essence he was in touch with his own “ditchiness” and so had compassion on the man who was in the ditch right then.

You know one of the greatest hindrances to true compassion is when we get out of touch with own “ditchiness.”  When we forget where we came from.

Paul reminds us of our ditchiness in Epesians 2:11-12. Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ” Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands – remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”

In fact the Word of God tells us that every one of us was born in a ditch! A ditch of sin and death.

Ephesians 2 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins……. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved )..”

So the next time you are tempted to pass by someone in the ditch just take a look in the mirror and say to yourself, “Why, you Son of a Ditch!”  Who do you think you are?

 

LUNCH FOR THE LION

Recently I was watching the National Geographic Channel (I know I’m a Red-neck nerd) and saw one of the most incredible things I have seen ever seen.  A wildlife videographer was in Africa where he had been following and filming a group of Cheetah’s for several months.  One day he caught on film three of the males fighting over a female.  Some serious blows were being traded.  The fracas eventually went into the bush where the female was laying down. All you could see on the film was flashes of fur, accompanied by growls and hisses and the shaking bush.  It was obvious the three were seriously going after each other.  About that time a big male lion came along and began to stalk toward the bush!  The Cheetahs were so busy with each other they never saw him.  He hit the bush on a full run.  Now there are four Cheetahs and a lion in the same bush.  One by one the cheetahs squirted out of the bush.  Three of them that is.  The fourth, the female, only appeared when the lion dragged her out with her head crushed in his mouth and dropped her on the ground.  She was dead.

Here is where it got crazy.  The three males only went about thirty yards away from the scene of the mauling and they began fighting again!  Totally ignored the lion and continued to fight, although the reason for the original brawl, the female, was now dead!

The lion began another stalk.  When he reached about ten yards from the three he launched his attack.  Now understand, a Cheetah can outrun a lion with no problem.  A lion doesn’t stand a chance against a Cheetah in a foot race.  Cheetahs have been clocked at over 60 miles per hour and they can achieve that speed in a matter of seconds.  So they all three easily scampered away to safety.  But like total idiots they only went a little ways and then guess what?  They went after each other again!  Again the lion stalked, launched his attack, and they scampered away.  On the third time this happened, he chased one of them and caught him!  The Cheetah was dead in a matter of seconds.

They played the film back in slow motion and it looked like the Cheetah wasn’t even trying to get away.  He never stretched out in that long Cheetah stride that can cover up to 26 feet in one step.  Why wouldn’t he put the peddle to the metal and save himself?  Because he couldn’t.  In the last brawl with his brothers he had been hurt.  The Lion took advantage of his woundedness and destroyed him.  This time the other two got the message and they saturated the place with their absence.

As I watched that scene play itself out I couldn’t believe it.  They were so focused on fighting each other that they ignored the enemy who wanted to kill them all.  They continued to fight each other even when the reason for the fight didn’t even exist anymore!  Because of that, two of the four became lunch for the lion.

There are so many applications that came to mind about this I can’t even begin to deal with them all.  But two applications stood out to me immediately.

1.  The enemy loves it when we fight each other

It makes his day!  Why?  Because while we focus on fighting each other we aren’t watching for him!  We make his job easy when we fight and quarrel over our petty differences and individual agendas.  If we don’t kill each other in the fight then he will come in and do it for us.  That’s why the Word of God speaks so often about how believers are to pray for one another, forgive, serve, and reconcile with one another on a constant basis.  When don’t he wreaks havoc in our midst

2.  The enemy attacks us in our woundedness

How did the lion happen to pick out the wounded Cheetah?  Was it by accident?  Not on your life.  Any wildlife expert will tell you that predators seek out the weak and wounded

and they have an uncanny ability to know which ones those are.  It was no accident that the lion chased the one who was wounded.  He knew it and he planned it.

Our enemy does the same thing.  He attacks us at our point of woundedness and our unwillingness to admit our wounds, deal with our wounds, and experience emotional/spiritual healing in Christ makes us vulnerable to his attacks.  He is a predator and all predators seek out the weak and wounded.

I Peter 5:8 Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Do yourself a favor.  Stop fighting your brothers and sisters in Christ and deal with your woundedness.  Otherwise, you might become lunch for the lion.

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