And who is my neighbor?

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So in my internet travels, I came across a post where there was a discussion on how much in way of dollars in humanitarian aid was being sent to Ukraine. In the ensuring conversation, a professing Christian mentioned while they felt for the situation, Ukraine wasn’t our issue–and our focus should be on the United States. What really saddened me was the tone and the harsh, thoughtless word choices this person used to punctuate their opinion.

Initially, I was a bit offended by what I read. In my heart I was like, “really?” “Where is your compassion?” “You do know Jesus, right?” Then, the Lord reminded me I had said such things in my B.C.(before Christ) days, and thankfully, He had forgiven me, so I needed to forgive the offender and let it go! After Jesus helped me to remove the beam from my eye, (see Matthew 7:1-5), I was clear to see how to compose this post to His glory!

Getting back to the point of the post, I am reminded of the very familiar parable Jesus told in Luke 10:25-37, KJV:

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

When we think about the lawyer, he was in expert in knowing the law and quoted it correctly. Next, he wanted to know exactly who is neighbor was, so he knew who he was supposed to love as himself.

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

The priests served as the mediators between God and the people. They are the ones who took the people’s sacrifices and offered them up to God (Leviticus 4:202631Hebrews 8:4). The High Priest, in particular, represented the whole nation of Israel before God (Exodus 28:12Hebrews 5:1). When a priest sinned, he brought guilt not only upon himself, but also upon the whole people (Leviticus 4:3). The priests also interceded on behalf of the people before God (Leviticus 9:22-24Numbers 6:22-27). And they would inquire of God for the nation (Exodus 28:30). (http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2007/04-26b.htm)

This mediator, interceder and inquirer to God looked at a wounded man, and passed him by.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

The Levites, members of the same tribe, but who were not descendants of Aaron, served as aides to the priests, doing things like helping to prepare the sacrifices. They took care of the temple, making repairs when needed, and served as musicians, singers, doorkeepers. (Numbers 1:50-53; 3:6-9; 4:1-33; I Chronicles 23). The Levites were also the teachers of Israel (Deuteronomy 24:8; 33:10; II Chronicles 35:3; Nehemiah 8:7) and the nation’s scribes (II Chronicles 34:13). The Levites were also the nation’s judges (Deuteronomy 17:8-9; 21:5; I Chronicles 23:4; II Chronicles 19:8; Ezekiel 44:15, 24). They were also the nation’s regulators. For instance, they were responsible for accurate weights and measures used in Israel (I Chronicles 23:29; Leviticus 19:35-36). (http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2007/04-26b.htm)

This aide to the priest, musician, singer, scribe, regulator and judge came and looked at the half-dead man and passed on the other side of the road.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Jesus using a Samaritan in the parable was very intentional, as it relates to love. After Assyria invaded Israel, the Northern Kingdom and resettled it with its own people, (see 2 Kings 17:24-41), some Jews intermarried with other people and the mixed race became known as the Samaritans. Full-blooded Jews considered themselves pure descendants of Abraham and despised the “half-breed” Samaritans and of course, the Samaritans hated the Jews.

While the priest and Levite may have passed the man as they strictly interpreted the law (the man was bleeding and may have been ceremonially considered unclean–see Leviticus 5:3), the “despised” Samaritan demonstrated the law of love. He cleaned the man’s wounds with oil and wine, bound them up, put the man on his own beast while he walked, brought him to an inn, nursed him for the night, instructed and paid the host to take care of him AND promised to repay the innkeeper for anything more he spent when he came back. There was no quibbling or discussion about not being from the same country, or race, or who needed more help–the Samaritan just helped! That is what love does, BCUFam!

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

BCU Fam, did you notice in the “a” part of the verse 37 where the lawyer said, “he that shewed mercy” rather than saying the “Samaritan”? That showed a lack of love, even though he stated that was the law. What is in our hearts comes out of our mouths! May the Lord help our words and heart mediations to be acceptable in His sight (Psalm 19:14).

I have read this parable more than one time, BCU Fam, and it really spoke to my spirit as a call to action for all of us to do what we can, as the Lord leads us to be a blessing to someone. How? We can start by intentionally and fervently praying for others. 2 Timothy 2-1:4 says, I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Then we need to be the answer to someone’s prayers. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (I John 3:17-18).

The Lord knows we we cannot help everyone, but we all can help in some way. Rather than have respect of persons in our love, (James 2:8-10), let’s pray and ask God who we can love on and be a neighbor to. Amen? Amen!

BCU Fam, what are your thoughts on our topic? Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio Google Play, and Apple Podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU


Cold love….

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!


  • Matthew 24 reminds us that one of the signs of Jesus coming back is iniquity abounding and “love waxing cold.”
  • A quick look at the local, national and even international news confirms what the Bible says.
  • Acts of non-love are based in selfishness.
  • For love to “wax” cold means it has solidified with time.
  • Cold love does nothing but exacerbate tense situations.
  • While love doesn’t mean we allow people to take advantage of us, it does mean we treat people how God says.
  • As people of God, we should not allow the world to be our blueprint on how we love. (See I Corinthians 13).

KJV Scripture References:

Matthew 24:1-13.

1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9)

 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Matthew 18:34-35).

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matthew 22:39).


BCU Fam, I know it’s “popular” to love certain people “long distance” or out of a “long-handled spoon”, but that doesn’t line up with the Word of God. We have to be ever so careful that we don’t allow our hearts to become cold toward one another. I understand how it feels when we love someone and they do not treat us right in return. More importantly, God knows who has offended, hurt, and disrespected us–nothing gets past Him. While Jesus heals our broken hearts, He will deal with the offender accordingly. In the meantime, with His help, our job is to walk out Matthew 5:43-45:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

To sum it up, we are to love, bless (speak well of vs. post/talk about them in the wrong way), do good, and pray for those who use us. Is this a challenge? Yes! But at the same time, we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13). By doing so we will be called the children of our Father in Heaven. And that’s our goal, BCUFam! Amen? Amen!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights––we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio Google Play, and Apple Podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

I lost some weight….

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!


Podcast highlights

~In most relationships, there are times when disagreements pop-up–that is normal.

~The hallmark of mature Christian individuals is successful navigation through the disagreements–at the very least, forgiveness, if not reconciliation.

~Sometimes, people just want to hold on to the [perceived] wrong and make the choice not to forgive–and that can weigh [burden or encumber] you down–but it doesn’t have to! Jesus says so!


KJV Scripture References:

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24).

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses Matthew 5:14-15).

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17).

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:6-8).

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. rain on the just and on the unjust (Hebrews 12:1-2).


Listen, BCU Fam, with all that extra weight I was carrying around, the Lord came to see about me! After just moments of being in His presence in prayer, I took those heavy burdens to the Lord and I LEFT them there. After that, I felt lighter, more focused, and ever so grateful to God for Him reminding me that once we do our part, it’s His job to deal with the hearts of the people (See Proverbs 21:1). If they choose not to be a part of our lives at that time, or ever, that’s His perfect will, and with His grace, we will submit to that and run on, keeping the Son in our eyes! (Hebrews 12:2). Amen? Amen!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio Google Play, and Apple Podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Jesus is The Answer

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post.

Podcast highlights:

  • At the time of this post (March 2022),there are so many things going in current events.
  • Inflation is at an all-time high, food and gas prices have quadrupled or more in some situations.
  • On top of all that, some of us have personal situations we are dealing with (family, job, illnesses, et cetera).
  • We feel these situations–Jesus feels us. He is the answer.

KJV Scripture references:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lamentations 3:21-22).

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalms 61:2).

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Phillippians 4:6-8).

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is (Psalm 63:1).

*And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:1-4, 37-39).


BCU Fam, the coming of the Lord is nigh–there is no doubt about that. As we see the Scriptures fulfilling themselves, some of what’s happening can be alarming. When those feelings come, we just want to lean into Jesus all the more. More prayer, more trusting, more calling on the Lord, more reading the Word, more mediation on the Word, more speaking in faith, more Scripture application…just more. More of Jesus will have us fretting, worrying and stressing a lot less. Amen? Amen!

For those who may not know the Lord in His fullness or maybe you are not sure, read *Acts chapters 1 and 2, asking the Lord to open your understanding. Follow up the reading with repenting (being godly sorry for all sins committed against God), be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of your sins (washing away of those sins), and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). You’ll know you have the Holy Ghost when you speak in other tongues as the Spirit of God fills you up. That means Jesus is down on the inside of you, and will lead and guide you here, and all the way to Heaven! If you need more clarification, contact me and we’ll talk!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio Google Play, and Apple Podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Are children ALWAYS a reflection of their parents?

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!


~In my B.C. days (before Christ) and for sometime after, my mouth spoke a LOT of things it should not have.

~ I had a-plenty to say about people and kids who I felt were heading the wrong way because of ineffective parenting.

~The Lord chastened and corrected me on speaking that way, and reminded me of that in a recent conversation.



KJV Scripture References:


~Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11).

~Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

~The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things (Provebs 15:28).

~Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Matthew 7:1-2).

 ~Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge, there is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (James 4:11-12).

 ~Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: (James 1:19).

~The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16b).


BCU Fam, I THANK GOD for the chastening from so many years ago! When speaking to people now, I can encourage them that while we have a responsibility to train up children in the proper way, God gives us all free will, or the ability to make choices. So we are not to walk in guilt or shame about our children’s choices, or worry about what people think about our “reflection”. Our job is to pray and look to the Lord to help our kids make the right decisions, and if they do not, that they will go back to the ways they were taught.

Maybe you did not know the Lord when your kids were young and your teen/adult children are not making the best decisions–guess what? God knows how to speak to their hearts. Proverbs 21:1 declares,”the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it whithersoever He will.” Let’s keep loving on and praying in faith for our children, BCU Fam! Jesus is the King of hearts!!! Amen? Amen!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio Google Play, and Apple Podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU