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Faith in Action: Be the Church
Love Takes a Detour, part 1
This week we are going to be starting a new 4-week series of messages, revisiting a series of messages I preached about 18 months ago as you can see the larger series is called “Faith in Action: Be the Church” but this first study is more specifically entitled Love Takes a Detour; and in a few minutes we’ll be looking into Luke 10:25–37 as a springboard into the message.
How do you feel when you see a “Detour” sign? I know, you probably aren’t saying to yourself, “Oh, good! I get to take a detour.” Maybe you feel a little anxious because you’re not sure where this detour will take you. Or maybe you feel frustrated because you are pressed for time and this detour will likely mess up your schedule.
In August of 2015 my family and I drove down to Orlando, FL for the Assemblies of God's national meeting (General Council). On our way home, I think we were in TN) when we saw “Detour Ahead” signs. I was bummed: I’m not a big fan of detours when I’m driving and we were trying to get to our friends' house in Wood River, IL. As we were getting off the Interstate Highway, along with literally hundreds of others, we were being routed onto a two-lane , two-way traffic road. I asked Gayle to talk to her phone and look for another possible route that could keep us out of that traffic and moving at a more consistent speed. It worked, finding us an alternative route, and we got to see some beautiful countryside and made much better time.
But what if you were driving and saw two road signs: one said “Detour Ahead” but the other said, “Take Your Usual Route.” It was completely your choice. Which would you take? You would probably take your usual route, especially if you knew that the detour would cost you time, money, and personal frustration.
This week, we’re going to be talking about detours. Not necessarily detours that you might encounter while driving, detours when traveling the highway of life — life detours. Ever encounter one of those? Some detours in life come at you, and you cannot choose to take your normal route — an illness, a layoff from your job, a spouse that walks out of your marriage. But then, there are other times in your life when you have a choice to get off your normal path and take a detour — a detour that can help someone. Are you the kind of person who will follow the sign that says “Take Your Usual Route” or “Detour Ahead?”
We are going to look at a person in the Bible who decided to take a detour on his road of life. Perhaps you have heard of him. He is known as the “Good Samaritan.” So we are going to take a look in Luke 10:25–28. We are going to be looking at the context of this story. As we read verses 25–28, I’d like you to notice the motive behind the question that is asked of Jesus…
“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”26“What is written in the Law?” He 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 replied. “Do this and you will live”NIV.
Some time during the Judean part of Jesus’ ministry, he encounters a person called a Nomikos (an “expert in the Law”). The people of that time respected these lawyers as community leaders and professional interpreters of the Law. These experts in the Law, had at least three areas of professional duty. First, they explained the requirements of the Law (the first five books of the Old Testament, also called the Pentateuch) to ordinary people. Secondly, they kept alive the memory of past leaders like the prophets. And thirdly, they trained others in knowledge of the law.
In this particular encounter between Jesus and the lawyer, the Bible says that the lawyer had an underlying motive. Did you catch the motive behind his question? Pause… Yes, the motive was to test Jesus. The expert called Jesus “teacher,” but he was trying to give the teacher a test. This properly schooled lawyer was testing the popular, but unofficial, teacher to see if he could expose to the crowd that Jesus couldn’t handle a tough theological question. Jesus didn’t go for it though; and since He was a teacher… He gave the test back to the expert.
Jesus asks him, “What is written in the law?How do you read it?” In other words, Jesus says, “You’re the expert; don’t you know the answer?” The lawyer can’t resist the temptation to show off his theological sophistication: He answers: “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.’”
The truth is, his answer actually shows a lot of insight. But Jesus then reveals his authority over the man by essentially giving him a grade. He says in effect, “You’re right. You get an A+ for that answer.” But Jesus doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say “Do this and you will live.” This man was an expert in knowing - but not in doing. Jesus is saying that it isn’t enough to know the right answer, you must do it. There are many people who are good at talking the talk, but not so much at, walking the walk.
Medication: A Merry Heart:
FUNNY SIGNS - International Version (some literal translations just don't work!)
~ Athens Hotel: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 daily.
~ Athens, Greece hotel: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.
~ Austrian hotel catering to skiers: Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension
~ Hong Kong supermarket: For your convenience, we recommend courageous, efficient self-service.
~ Hong Kong tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.
~ Istanbul hotel corridor sign: Please to evacuate in hall especially which is accompanied by rude noises.
~ Japanese hotel room: Please to bathe inside the tub.
~ Japanese information booklet about a hotel air conditioner: Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of war in your room, please control yourself.
~ Kyushi, Japan detour sign: Stop - Drive Sideways.
~ Moscow hotel room door: If this is your first visit to the USSR, you are welcome to it.
~ Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk.
~ Tokyo hotel: Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not person to do such thing is please not to read this notice.
~ Tokyo shop: Our nylons cost more than common, but you'll find they are best in the long run.
~ Vienna hotel: In case of fire, do your utmost to alarm the hotel porter.
~ Europa Hotel, Sarajevo - you will find this message on every door: Guests should announce the abandonment of theirs rooms before 12 o'clock, emptying the room at the latest until 14 o'clock, for the use of the room before 5 at the arrival or after the 16 o'clock at the departure, will be billed as one night more.
~ Zurich hotel: Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Romans 5:8 NLT
Today’s readings: Exodus 39 – 40