Christian Devotionals

Cheryl writes: "The Lord saved me when I was 30. I am now 68. I have been writing poetry since I was saved. I have been married to my husband Marcelo (also a believer) for 48 years. We live in Arizona. We have 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, soul, and strength, and living for Him is my greatest desire.  In 2014, I wrote and had published a book called, 'Tali's Mysterious Dream', (thank you Jesus)!"

Who is My Neighbor? (Luke 10:29)
By Cheryl A. Mariano AKA Cheremiah

Luke 10:29 (KJV)
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

One of my all time “Favorite” things to do is dim the lights in the living room, sit in my rocker recliner, put on praise and worship music and get totally lost in Jesus.

It is such an awesome time!  No one there, except, the Lord and me.  He is altogether lovely!  Song of Solomon 5:16

Basking in His presence brings forth emotions like humility, thanksgiving, amazement, surrender, joy, and peace, to name a few.

During those precious moments when I get to behold specks of His majesty, holiness, truth, might, and glory, scriptures will often come to my remembrance.

Through them I receive doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:16).

Poem titles, song lyrics, lessons, and story ideas have been known to spring forth while spending such blessed moments with the Lord.

The story I call “Janice” was inspired during one of those special times.

Janice had just finished reading Luke 10:25-37.

She closed her bible, put it on the nightstand next to her bed, and turned off the light.  As she snuggled into the covers, she thought about the verses she had just read.

Still meditating on (Luke 10:29) she yawned and said out loud, “That’s a good question Lord, who is my neighbor?” 

That night in a dream, an angel appeared.  “Fear not Janice, the angel said to her; the Lord Jesus Christ has sent me to you.”

The angel took Janice to the Samaritan road.  There she saw 4 people lying face down.  It was apparent they had been badly beaten, and left there to die.  

On top of a large rock, next to the bodies were 4 golden vials.

The angel explained to Janice that each wounded person needed a vial.  For contained inside were healing properties of oil and wine that would make them whole again.

 “Janice, the angel continued; the Lord Jesus Christ sent you here to help your neighbor.”  Janice’s heart welled up with love and compassion.

She beamed with pride to think the Lord Himself, would choose her to perform such an act of love and kindness!

Together, she and the angel walked closer to the 4 bodies.  Very gently the angel turned each person face up.  Janice gasped in horror as she looked upon the faces!

Deep, buried, rage and unpleasant feelings began to emerge.  3 of these people had done immeasurable damage to her.

Angrily she pointed to the first person.  “This person she said to the angel took extreme advantage of me!  My spirit was wounded and my heart severely broken.”

Looking at the second person she shuddered as she said, “Because of this one, I suffered great fear, depression, lack of self-worth, and rejection.”  

She emotionally lost it when she saw the 3rd person!  Covering her face in shame she trembled, and began crying uncontrollably.  She kept shaking her head in utter disbelief. 

“This one, she said to the angel, not only abused me physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually!” 

When she saw the face of the 4th person on the Samaritan road, the fear, disbelief, and anger on Janice’s face began to soften a bit.

She remembered this person reached out to her during one of the darkest, most hopeless, periods in her life.

Despair, loneliness, self hatred, and depression, had caused Janice to hit bottom.

This person had given her hope.  Had shown her unconditional, genuine love, and mercy, and lifted her up when she so desperately needed it.

Bewildered after seeing the bodies on the Samaritan road Janice didn’t know quite what to do!  

Raw feelings of anger, hatred, bitterness, and revenge had surfaced.  Feelings she didn’t even know existed until now.

She wanted to run away, she couldn’t deal with all of this!  But hadn’t Jesus sent the angel to her?  Then surely, this could only be for her good.

Janice suddenly remembered the dictionary definition of what a neighbor is.
  One who lives near you.
  A friend, relative, countryman, or foe.
  Any person with whom we have dealings.

The angel looked at Janice and said, “Who is your neighbor, and what will you do?”

With tear filled eyes, trembling hands, and shaky legs, Janice said to the angel, “This is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.”

Her knees were weak, but she wobbled over to the rock where the 4 vials of oil and wine were.  The angel asked, “How many bottles of oil and wine do you want to pour upon those wounded on the road?”

With head bowed and heart extremely heavy, Janice’s flesh wrestled with her spirit.  She kept looking back and forth at the figures on the road, and the golden vials…then finally, she stammered out her answer. "Four," she said, "I’ll take four!”

With that answer, a peace and joy that Janice had never known before began to literally pour all over her.  She dried her tears as she went to gather the vials from the rock.  To her surprise, she saw Jesus standing there and her heart leaped! 

“So you didn’t leave me here to do this all by myself,” she said relieved and happy.

“I was here all the time," Jesus said to her. "You just couldn’t see me clearly because hatred and unforgiveness distorted your vision."

Then, with a smile on His face that melted Janice’s heart, the Living Oil and Wine, took Janice’s hand and together they walked over to those in need.

There is a wonderful release of healing, joy, love, and cleansing, that springs forth from the well of forgiveness.

Apologies are nice to get from the ones who have wronged us, but what if we never got an apology?  

What if the person or persons who hurt us have passed away, or they are still living, but have no remorse for what they did?

Jesus knows the hurt and devastation of sin.

Proverbs 6:16-19: These six things doth the Lord hate: yea seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,  A false witness that speaks lies, and one who sows discord among the brethren.

Please remember, if the person or persons who hurt you never repented and said “I’m sorry, please forgive me” God knows exactly how you feel, we read that in Hebrews 4:15, and like Janice found out, forgiveness is life changing!

Prayer: Lord thank you for knowing exactly how we feel in every situation.  Thank you for the power of forgiveness.  May we choose today to forgive those who have trespassed against us.  Amen.

(© 2018 Cheryl A. Mariano AKA Cheremiah – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)

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