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We come to an end of our sermon series Transforming Commitments with the sermon Resolve. Being resolute is an important mindset for life. It gives us direction, drive, and determination. Commitments, great or small, will have obstacles and problems to overcome and these things will test our determination to fulfill what we have promised. Without some level of resolve, we will accomplish very little. Or if we are resolved to do the least rather than to give our best, then our choices will have a corrosive impact in our lives and relationships. If our greatest and highest resolve is to our cater to our worst self rather than the highest good will it matter?  Maybe a better question is, “What does it mean to be lost?” It means that we have a determination to follow the path to destruction and despair rather than the path that leads us to joy, hope, and peace. This week we turn to Luke 10:25-37, one of the most powerful parables in the entire New Testament called the Good Samaritan. However, we often forget what happens just before Jesus tells this story. An expert of the Jewish law asks a simple question about inheriting eternal life. The discussion that follows sets forth the highest commitment that can transform our hearts and lives. This interaction not only gives us a great illustration of compassion but it also gives us the opportunity to find the abundant life that Jesus wants us to have!  It is our most earnest prayer that these words will inspire you to find the empowering presence of our living God.

Luke 10:25-37: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (NIV)