“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'” Luke 16:27-31
You have been walking right on by, haven’t you? Your eyes have looked the other way? Your feet have led another direction? Your hands have been closed? Isn’t this true? Don’t pretend you’re not sure what I’m talking about. I know what you’re talking about. What am I talking about? You want me to tell you what you are talking about? Yes, I do. Alright, you are talking about the poor and needy. Yes, I am. Go ahead, you may continue. I have been walking right on by those who are in desperate need. Yes, you have. My eyes have looked the other way. My feet have quickly led me in another direction. My hands have been closed to those who are in desperate need. Yes, I am glad you are agreeing with me. There is no point in denying your assessment. I would have precious little to hold up in my defense. You would have some examples to highlight how you have responded to my prompting you to help those in need, wouldn’t you? Yes, I would. But you know that what you have done is not enough. Why is that? It really isn’t a question of how much I’ve done is it? No, it’s not. The real question is am I truly at your disposal? Will I allow myself to be really inconvenienced when you prompt me to respond to someone in need? You have a funny way of putting things. How is that? I’m not an inconvenience to you, am I? No, not at all. I used the word inconvenienced because it helped me to understand the true condition of my heart. What are you coming up with? I like to live in luxury and pleasure. I don’t like to be distracted or made uncomfortable. No, you don’t. I don’t like what I’m seeing. What’s that? It’s a sin to live in such luxury when others all around are in desperate need. I know that I have heard your voice and felt your prompting to help someone in need. What have you done with that? Sometimes I have responded to what you have asked me to do for you. Yes, you have. But, far too often, I have failed to respond to you and walked right on by someone in need. So, what are you saying? Do you want to have a winning record? Are you trying to improve your frequency of favorably responding to me? No, I’m not. You’re not? No, I want you to completely change and transform my heart and mind so that without any thought the words that came out of my mouth are always yes. So, right now, I’m confessing my sins of disobedience to you. I’m asking for your forgiveness. I’m turning away from my self-centered, pleasure seeking life to a life of following and serving you. You’re forgiven. You know that? Yes Lord, I do. Then this is a glorious day, isn’t it? Why is that? You are forgiven and free to serve me now whenever and however I ask you. Yes Lord, I am. Isn’t that exciting? Yes Lord, it is.
Lord, forgive me for walking right on by people who were in desperate need. Open my eyes and soften my heart to those who are in need. Show when, where, and how I can get up and move out of my comfort zone to help others who are in desperate need. Amen
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