Love is Sacrifice

JESUS SPEAKING

          But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, 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.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.   On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’  So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves.” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10: 29 – 37.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

            In this parable a man is badly beaten, and left to die on the side of the road.  The Jews considered Samaritans to be Godless degenerates; yet in this illustration, the only one to show compassion and love for the wounded stranger, is a Samaritan.  His love was expressed in the form of sacrifice.  Unlike the Levite and the priest, the Samaritan sacrificed his time, his wealth, and his reputation to aid the injured man.  Without sacrifice there is no real proof of love.

            Infants undeniably demand a great deal of time, attention, and resources.  ‘Good parenting’ is therefore a synonym for ‘Sacrifice.’  New parents can expect to forfeit many privileges on behalf of their children.  It is estimated that in the first year of a child’s existence, they will need to be changed 2500 times and fed every 4 hours (although the number varies widely.)  Similarly, newborns must be burped, bathed, clothed, held, and played with regularly; actions which require great selflessness and sacrifice.

            Like the Samaritan, and like any good parent, Jesus Christ has asked His children to lay down their selfish pursuits to love and care for those in need.  If we embrace a spirit of sacrifice, then God will provide us with opportunities to love our families, our friends, and our neighbors.  As we accomplish the will of God, our hearts will know peace and we will inherit the eternal blessings He has promised to those who faithfully serve Him.

            “Lord Heavenly Father, we come before You and ask for the courage and strength to embrace sacrifice; may we be filled with compassion; may we always seek the lost; and may continually love those in need.  Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, may we become more like You each and every day.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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