As Christians we have been equipped to edify the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12). As the Body of Christ God we have been fearfully and wonderfully made by covenant to be an instrumental asset to others, blessing all of the families of the earth (Gen. 12:3). Therefore, as the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Mt. 13-14) we have been ordained by God to love one another with great importance.
It is my prayer and desire as a Spirit-filled believer and follower of Christ to be of valuable importance to my fellowman. And as a pastor I have been ordained by God to equip the saints for the work the ministry for the edifying of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12). Therefore, as a minister of the Gospel of Christ I want to implore all of us as able ministers of the New Covenant to increase our importance as the church and in our world, especially in the hour that we live in.
Resources are so vital it determines the difference between a Christian who is of value and a Christian who is important. There is a different between value and importance. Not everything that is valuable is important.
You see, there are certain people if they were to leave the church or leave a particular work place, I would not miss them. Why would I say such a thing? Because very few people have understood how to increase their importance. When you increase your importance you are needed in the organization and you are greatly missed when you are not there.
Now please understand beloved friends, Jesus died for everyone. Jesus saw so much tremendous value in each of us that He invested Himself into each of us through His birth, death, burial and resurrection. Therefore everyone's value is the same. But your importance in the house of God and among society is not the same.
Therefore, based on this foundational Truth, I want to suggest you become such an instrumentally resourceful person in the body of Christ that the church is not able to do what God has called us to do without you. Become such a instrumentally resourceful person that your company is not able to do business without you. Become such an instrumentally resourceful person that wherever you go, you make an impact and are needed. So that, if you miss one day, you are missed.
The story of the Good Samaritan was about Jesus answering a trick question: "Who is my neighbor?" They came to that question because someone asked a different question about life and Jesus presented the two greatest commandments: love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
I believe you cannot do both effectively if you are not resourceful. In another conversation Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Mt. 6:21). Therefore, to love God with all your heart, He must be your greatest treasure. Consider the magi who came to Jesus after He was born. They did not come to bring Him a song, they each brought resourceful gifts, including gold. I think it is time for us to have some gold (resources) to bring to our Lord.
Furthermore, I don't think you can effectively love your neighbor without resources. In and through your covenant relationship you have with your Good, Good Father, I believe you have all the resources you need to effectively reach people. Through adequate resources you will have what is required to get the job done, whenever you need it. There are no more excuses.
"And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?' So he answered and said, ' "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself." ' And He said to him, 'You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.' 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.'" (Lk. 10:25-37)
Why did the religious priest and Levite just pass by the wounded man? Was it because they did not have compassion or was it because they lacked the adequate resources? In all honesty, I believe it was both.
It is beautiful when the church is about meeting the needs of the people.
In fact when the church of Christ was born Luke said: "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. S continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart," (Acts 2:44-46)
Therefore, I do not believe it is irresponsible of me to suggest that love and resources go hand in hand.
What is more, in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul explains how love is motivated by resources we give: "Giving your body to be burned" and "Giving your goods to the poor." And when this Samaritan saw this wounded man, compassion began to well up in him to do something resourceful. Therefore, I believe that if want a healing ministry, when you see a sick person it must hurt you. Moreover, I also believe that where there is pain in your life, there is a gift coming to you so you can be a blessing.
Religiosity is not moved by the wounded man. But in contrast the good Samaritan is so moved that he ministers oil and wine on his wounds, puts him on his own animal, takes him to the inn and rearranges his schedule to meet the needs of a wounded man. But he does not stop there, he pays for all of his expenses before leaving the next day and promises the inn keeper that he would come back and pay anything that is still owed.
In conclusion, Jesus asked, "Who is the neighbor?" The priest? The Levite or the Samaritan? The good Samaritan was able to love his neighbor because he was an instrumentally resourceful person. He was a resourceful man.
I want to list 7 resources the good Samaritan had as our example of being an instrumentally resourceful person:
1. Oil & Wine
"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..." (Lk. 10:33-34)
Please notice, this Samaritan did not pray for the wounds. He did something. He gave the wounded man aid. The great Samaritan used a rare commodity and medicine of his day, pouring oil and wine on his wounds.
Even in the Book of Revelation, as the third seal was being opened, John writes:
"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.'” (Rev. 6:6)
My point -- the Samaritan offered more than a sympathetic prayer. He was resourceful in offering aid, even a rare commodity. Please understand, that I am not minimizing the power of prayer. But how many of us actually spend time praying fervently like Elijah for our fellowmen who are need? Yes indeed, the fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16-18). But how many of us are faithful to our promise (Mt. 5:37; James 5:12) when we tell others we will pray for them?
Moreover does prayer mean we exclude extending our hand to those in need, or do we just pass by like the priest and the Levite? In other words, is prayer all that we have to offer our neighbor? Is that the love Jesus was advocating in this parable? Is praying from a "safe distance" all that we are willing to do? Perchance are we just being like the priest and Levite who both passed on the other side, avoiding the divine opportunity to minister to their neighbor out of love? Thus Jesus asked, "who of the three was a neighbor to him?"
Please remember Jesus was answering the question of how to love your neighbor. He used this parable to illustrate His point. Jesus illustrated that this great Samaritan showed real merciful compassion as he used a very rare commodity of his own resources to meet the immediate need of his fellow man. I don't know about you but I want to be an instrumental resourceful Christian to others. I want to be a good neighbor. God is my treasure.
Therefore, I wan to ask you, "What do you have in your hand?" In terms of instrumental resources that look like rare commodities, what do you have that God, your treasure has blessed you with so that you can be a blessing to your fellowman who is in need (Gen. 12:3). When we bless others are we not indeed blessing ourselves (Gen. 12:2)?
I pray that the Lord will bless you with a compassion for those in need that come across your path, in your journey of life. I pray that God would bless you with a rare commodity, so that through it you can help others as the body OF Christ and bring glory and honor to His name.
2. Puts Him On His Animal
"...and he set him on his own animal..." (Lk. 10:34)
The good Samartian's animal was his vehicle of the day. Although true, in terms of vehicles, I want you to look beyond a vehicle as being only restricted to a car or means of transporation. A vehicle can also be a medium through which something is expressed, achieved, or displayed. For instance I believe your business, company or ministry can be the instrumental resource you can use to love your neighbor.
I believe our church is a vehicle. I believe many churches and ministries are vehicles that can be used as instrumental resources to love our neighbors. I believe many of the assets we posses can be used as vehicles, such as our home, our church buildings, etc. In our church I believe our website, social media and our live-stream resources are vehicles we can use to be instrumentally resourceful people.
I pray that the Lord would bless you with a vehicle that you can use to be an instrumentally resourceful people. A vehicle by which you can do what you have always longed to do.
Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus walked, used a boat and rode a donkey as His mode of transportation. Therefore, please understand that vehicles can change from season to season. However, some people refuse to change their vehicle and in doing so get stuck in a rut. Many times, that is when you need to move from the boat to the donkey.
"...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." (Lk. 10:35)
As the church, we have a lot of work to do. There's a difference between giving to the poor and giving to the work of the Lord.
I believe we should give to the work of the Lord first and look after the poor also. Why do I say that? I believe if we give to those who are doing the work of the Lord first, those who are doing the work of the Lord will look after the poor also.
However please know, if you think that your offering is going to eradicate poverty you'll have to remove some verses from Scripture. Jesus said:
"For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always." (Mt. 26:11)
"For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always." (Mk. 14:7)
Money is a resource. Many pastors are afraid to teach about money because many people are afraid to be taught about money. So then, who is going to teach us about money? Money is one of the resources we use to worship God. Whatever you have in terms of money, respect it.
I encourage you to ask people who have money, not for money, but for wisdom. Take a rich man out for a meal, pay for the meal and glean from his wisdom. Ask, "what do you do."
This good Samaritan had the instrumental resources, including money to help meet the needs of a wounded neighbor. I pray the Lord will increase you with wisdom and power to get wealth so you can be blessed to bless others (Eph. 4:28; Deut. 8:18; Gen. 12:3).
"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion." (Lk. 10:33)
The good Samaritan was on a journey when he crossed paths with this wounded man. Therefore, he had to change his itinerary in order to attend to his neighbor's needs. When you are able to change anything at anytime, flexibility is an instrumental resource. Flexibility is necessary in our lives.
Now in terms of money. Money will not give you happiness. But money can give you flexibility. Because of the instrumental resources the good Samaritan had. He was capable of rescheduling his itinerary in order that he may adequately attend to a wounded man who was need.
"...brought him to an inn, and took care of him." (Lk. 10:34)
The good Samaritan knew where to go. He knew where to take this wounded man, in order to give him some help. He had connections. He knew where the inn was.
I mean no disrespect, but there are many sincere Christians and ministers who have a lot of biblical knowledge, praise God. But they have no practical knowledge that would be instrumentally resourceful to help their fellowmen who is in dire need. Thus like the priest and the Levite, many Christians just pass by the wounded man, having no knowledge of what to do or how to help. They have no instrumental resources to help in a practical situation.
"Where was he going to take this wounded man?" Notice he didn't take him to the temple. He took him to the inn and he knew where the inn was. Knowledge is an instrumental resource.
"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.'" (Lk. 10:35)
In other words, the good Samartian said, "I have to get back to work."
Beloved friends, you can't put everything on hold to look after other people. You can't look after people until your money runs dry. Instead the good Samaritan was saying, "I looked after you yesterday but I can't stay, I have to get back to work."
Resourceful people are busy. They don't have time to read every blog and social media app out there. They don't have time to go to church and gossip. Those who gossip are broke.
Keep yourself busy! Occupy until He comes (Lk. 19:13)! Have you ever noticed that each disciple that Jesus chose was busy? He did not select lazy disciples.
Paul says: "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need." (Eph. 4:28)
Notice that laboring with our hands is the opposite of stealing. I believe it’s correct to say that those who don’t labor but just “mooch” off others are stealing. Anyone might need help at times or temporarily, but to live off others is wrong (2 Thes. 3:10).
Paul instructed those who were thieves before their conversion to labor so that they could start giving to others. This is the real issue with stealing. A thief is a taker instead of a giver. This violates the very heart of God (Jn. 3:16) and the way He intended man to be (Acts 20:35).
If this is used as a true definition of stealing, then there are many more thieves than most realize. Many people live for themselves in more areas than just money. They are like vacuums, always taking and never giving. Those who live to receive instead of living to give violate the spirit of what Paul was speaking of here. In that sense, selfishness of any kind is stealing. Covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5).
We should do what we long to do based on the desire that God has conceived in our hearts, trusting Him and committing our way to Him (Ps. 37:4-5). But our attitude in everything we do and everything we have should not be self-centered but God-centered: "How can I use my time and resources to love my neighbor who is in need?"
The good Samaritan said, "I will come back and I will pay you to look after him. Look at the rhetoric, "I will come back and I will pay you." Resourceful people are confident. Resourceful people are faithful. Resourceful people keep their word.
Resources bring confidence into our lives. Our confidence is in Christ. In Christ, we have a covenant relationship with our Good, Good Father. Show me a confident person who is established in who they are in Christ, established in their covenant relationship with their Father and I will show you a resourceful person. When they walk in the room they look confident. That is because resources give you a mentality that timid a nd fearful people do not have.
"So he answered and said, '"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind," and "your neighbor as yourself."' And He said to him, 'You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.' But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'” (Lk. 10:27-29)
Remember the whole point of the good Samaritan story was to answer the question on love. All the good Samaritan did out of the resources that he had, he did out of compassion (Lk. 10:33). Love is the best resource of all (1 Cor. 13:13) it never fails (1 Cor. 13:8).
The good Samaritan loved his neighbor. He was able to do it because he was resourceful.
I pray the Holy Spirit will stir you up with a desire to be resourceful and that you never underestimate the power of love. Walk in love, because to walk in love means to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).
Love is a resource that all of us have. The foundation of our ministry must always be love. We just need to love on people. Love never fails.