Today, I want to share with you the main points from a sermon that I have shared with our congregation across the years. I have personally found these principles to be encouraging to me when I go through tough times. These promises come from Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.
1. YOU MAY BE HALF DEAD BUT YOU’RE ALSO HALF ALIVE.
In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. Luke 10:30 (NIV)
This is the “how much water is in the cup principle.” If a cup has 50% of water in it do you say it is “half full” or do you say it is “half empty”?
Yes, you may be half dead but you’re also half alive!
This man was left for half dead because he was robbed. I’m not sure who or what has robbed you today of your health, marriage, joy, career, future or friends but I know who is behind the robberies - the evil one. Jesus said,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)
Did you hear that? Jesus came that we might have life AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL! You see, even if you have been robbed, even if you have been left for half dead – Jesus wants to give you life – and to fill up your life with life to the full and overflowing.
I don’t care what has been done to you or what you have done, or where you did it or who you did it with... Jesus can give you life and a life more abundant!
Do you know what? I bet if Jesus was asked -what He would call a cup that had 50% water in it- He would probably say, “It will be full when I’m done with it.”
In your marriage, in a relationship, with a child, in your job, at your school, with your parent, in your neighborhood, with your reputation – you may have been left for half dead, but take heart, you’re half alive and help is already on the way.
And that’s the second point:
2. HELP IS ALREADY ON THE WAY.
31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. Luke 10:31-32
The journey from Jericho to Jerusalem was approximately 17 miles down – and it was down, some 3,300 feet in elevation, from 2,500 feet above sea level to 800 feet below sea level. It was a desert road where there were a lot of rocks and boulders for thieves and robbers to hang out and attack an unexpected traveler.
How long does it take to walk 17 miles? Probably less going down a hill like this than up a hill. If you averaged 15 minutes per mile it would take you just over 4 hours.
But the point is this, most likely long before this man was ever attack, help was already on the way.
I like what Max Luccado wrote in his book, “He Still Moves Stones”, (of course, I like everything Max Luccado writes). Here it is:
“The God of surprises strikes again… God does that for the faithful. Just when the womb gets too old for babies, Sarai gets pregnant. Just when the failure is too great for grace, David is pardoned. The lesson? Three words…don’t give up! Is the road long? Don’t stop. Is the night black? Don’t quit. God is watching. For all you know right at this moment… the check may be in the making. The job contract may be on the desk. Don’t quit. For if you do, you may miss the answer to your prayers.”
Help is on the way. Don’t give up! And that takes us to the third point…
3. HELP IS ON THE WAY BUT IT WILL MOST LIKELY COME FROM AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE.
A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' Luke 10:31-35 NIV
The one who should have helped didn’t. The one who should have stopped, passed by on the other side. The ones who represented God and the church of the day, did nothing but went on their way.
But don’t you just love verse 33: “But a Samaritan…” As you probably already know, the Jews couldn’t stand the Samaritans and if anyone had a “right” to pass by and keep on walking, it was this man. But Jesus tells us,
(Luke 10:33-35 NIV) But a Samaritan, …
Just when the story seems to be hopeless, God interrupts it with the unexpected, “But a Samaritan...”
(Luke 10:33-35 NIV) But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him (in other words he did something about the need…)
…and you know the rest of the story. He went to him, administered first aid, put him on his donkey and took him to an inn and took care of him there. Then, the next day, he took out 2 days of wages and gave it to the innkeeper and asked him to look after him, and if there were any more expenses, he would reimburse the inn keeper when he got back.
Help is on the way, but it may most likely come from an unexpected source.
But I guess that shouldn’t surprise us. The Bible tells us:
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:9 NIV)
For some of you – that unexpected source of help is God.
You have been trying to figure things out on your own.
You have been trying to manage your own life.
You have been looking for answers in all the wrong places.
You have been trying to fix things in your life rather than letting God heal you.
You have been trying to fill the void of being half dead or half alive – but what you need to do today is let Jesus fill you to the brim and overflowing with His life – the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is the one that has come and wants to mend your wounds and heal your hurts and put you back on the road of life. Why don’t you let God be the unexpected source of help for you?
WHEN YOU’RE BEAT UP AND LEFT TO DIE REMEMBER:
You may be half dead, but you are half alive.
Help is on the way.
Help most likely will come from an unexpected source
And if you are beyond help, or if your situation is hopeless, IF YOU ARE TOTALLY DEAD - TOTALLY GONE - BEYOND ALL HOPE guess what, God can even resurrect and bring back to life that which is already dead - EVEN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU THINK IS HOPELESS...
...just look at Jesus!
Today, let God be the unexpected source of help for you!