Random: Bought my first pair of skinny jeans this past weekend. It wasn’t that traumatic.
This past Sunday in church was Rally Day. In case your church doesn’t have a rally day, this is the Sunday when all the kids ‘graduate’ from their past year’s grade of Sunday School and move up to the new school year’s grade. It’s a super fun day of celebration and excitement. All the kids are in the ‘adult’ service and we get to act goofy while praising the Lord. It’s a really fantastic morning.
The sermon that was preached was also inspiring. It was based on the story of the Good Samaritan. You know, the guy that helped a Jewish man just because he could. Even when two other men from the injured man’s tribe walked right on by. Men who should have known better, just walked passed and left their fellow countryman alone. The Samaritan was from a different part of the country. He and his kind did not associate with Jewish people. Really, Jewish people did not associate with Samaritan’s because the Jewish people felt superior to the Samaritan’s.
So there we are in church watching the story of the Good Samaritan play out in video. Then our pastor starts preaching about being a good neighbor and how most of what Jesus tells us to do is to reach out to our neighbors. With no ulterior motives. The part that made my ears go to attention was this:
We don’t love people to get them into the kingdom of God. We love them because it’s what Jesus told us to do. We don’t love for ulterior purposes.
That hit me square in the forehead. I might even have a small bruise on my heart. How many times have I reached out to someone only because I was inviting them to church? How many times have I volunteered only because I then look “spiritual”? This is not always the case. But I can admit there have been different points in my life where I have “served” so that others will think well of me. Or I was encouraged to reach out so we could have a BIG turnout at some youth event. There was no relationship involved. It was just about having big numbers so that we could impress other churches with the size of our ministry.
But that’s not what Jesus is about, is it. Yes, there were great crowds that were drawn to Jesus, but that wasn’t the purpose of His ministry. He was about helping people. That’s what I want to be about. Helping. Not reaching out with ulterior motives, but helping out because that’s what I am called to do.