Weekly message from Cypress Church: An engaging heart

Luke 10:33-34 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he (a victim of horrible crime) was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

In this Bible parable where Jesus is teaching about engaging our community with love, he tells a gripping story. In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus speaks of man who was overtaken by bandits. They beat the man, robbed him, even took his clothes and left him half dead. In the story, two religious people come across this poor victim. Jesus brings these servants of God up in the story because these people, whose lives are dedicated to God, would most certainly reflect God’s character of love.

Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;I will strengthen you, I will help you,I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Yet as the story goes, both of these servants of God cross the street and ignore the person in pain, the person in need, a person God created (see Psalm 139:13-18). Each person is an image bearer of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and is not a mistake nor a throwaway! Let that soak in a bit. Let me personalize it, you are not a mistake nor a throwaway. You are a precious creation of God; valuable, important, essential, and treasured by God. You matter to Him as do all people. So why did these religious guys not reflect the God they serve? We are not told in Jesus’ story why, but we do know someone did reflect God’s call to love their neighbor. It was a Samaritan man. A person racially despised by much of the audience of Jesus’ original listeners, yet Jesus decided to make him the hero. This Samaritan was moved with compassion to engage the poor victim.

Jesus demonstrated an engaging heart when He saw a woman grieving over her dead son.

Luke 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”

Jesus went on to raise this son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17)

In another time Jesus saw the hurt of the crowd.

Matthew 9:36 When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus, with an engaging heart, healed many (Matthew 9:35-36).

Engagement is more than just contacting or an interaction. Contacting tends to be one-sided and an interaction is more of a surface sharing of ideas, but engagement is expressing and communicating the actions of love: care, help, g
race, mercy, kindness, sharing a moment, empathy, showing value that this person matters. That’s what Jesus did and taught.

Maybe what could have a great impact on our world is when we choose to love our neighbors as God has said Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14. It’s a choice to feel with people in our city, in our communities, and with those we live around. What could you do to express an engaging heart?

Church can be a great place to learn more how to have an engaging heart like Jesus. Most churches now have both in-person and online gatherings. If you don’t already have a church you attend, we would love to invite you to attend Neighborhood Church. Our webpage has information how to connect with us or you can view our other resources. Also, here is the link to our live-streaming services.