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Viewpoint from Roger Hill for 4th July 2014 

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a perfect example of how we should treat others in distress.  I think the true character of a Christian is determined by how we treat our enemies and those who dislike us – more than how we treat our fCIMG0097 webriends. 
The Good Samaritan did not withhold his assistance because the victim was an enemy, or because he was considered by the victim to be an inferior human being.  Even the victim’s own countrymen walked by on the other side, without lifting a finger to help!  What motivated this social outcast to help someone who despised and reviled him?  I would suggest need and compassion.  Question – Is the parable just about physical wounds and needs, or does it refer to the spiritual realm also?  Could it be that Jesus was referring to Himself when he spoke about the “Good Samaritan?”  After all Jesus was despised and rejected by many of His countrymen.  “Can any good thing cDove rightome out of Nazareth,” they said.    The Psalmist talking of the Saviour said “He healeth the broken-hearted and bindeth up their wounds.”  
The Bible says Jesus went about doing good as should we, but what is important to us, the praise of men, or the approval of God?  Are we looking to glorify the Holy Spirit working in our lives, or do we seek to impress our friends, relatives, neighbours or work colleagues?  It’s a question of motive, not just what we do, but why we do it.  In our entire decision making great or small, is the Holy Spirit being consulted for direction, guidance, and wisdom?
If a brother or sister in the church falls into sin do we broadcast it far and wide within the church community and perform a character assassination on them?  We cannot condone wrong-doing, but which is more important to us, restitution or retribution?  Galations 6v1 “Brethren if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Should this support be reserved just for those we consider worthy of it?   Perhaps sometimes we forget that all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God!  Is there a man or woman here from whom the pure and pious would shrink?  
The Holy, harmless, undefiled one would not ignore them – for the Lord Jesus receives all sinners.  He is never happier than when He is relieving, or retrieving the forlorn, the abject, and the outcast.  He despises none that confess their sins and seek His mercy.  No pride nestles in His dear heart, no sarcastic words roll off His gracious tongue, no bitter expression falls from His blessed lips.  He still receives the guilty.  Now let our silent prayer go up, “My Saviour, have pity on me; be moved with compassion towards me, for if misery be any qualification for mercy, I am a fit object for your compassion!”  The one and only Lord Jesus Christ – Saviour of mankind!
Judith Edmonds 04/07/2014 09:27
terrific stuff, Roger. We Christians need to be aware that not-yet-Christians are watching our behaviour and well aware how we should behave; and we are letting our Lord down by wrong witness sometimes. We need to be on our guard