Tag Archives: teaching

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?


William Andrew Dillard

This classic question penned in Luke 10:30 was asked of Jesus by a certain lawyer. It is a question that continues to be pondered as men seek to justify themselves and/or their actions in life. Of course, it continues to be asked because men are not willing to let the simple and forthright teachings of Jesus on the subject be the final answer. However, Jesus’ answer is the final truth whether it is accepted or not.
The context of the question centers around the terms of fulfilling the Law of Moses. First, one is to love God with all his heart then he is to love his neighbor as himself. So, who is my neighbor? To what degree am I allowed to discriminate and still do what I should do? Think with me about what is being said and taught here.
Does this mean that one should run right out and find someone in need and give him all his earthly possessions? No! Should this happen on a wide scale, all commerce would stop and the whole world become immediately impoverished. Jesus did not intend that. In fact, the Bible teaches us that the lazy who will not work should neither eat. II Thess. 3:10. Does this mean that poverty should be eliminated in one’s local vicinity? No! Jesus said, “The poor you have with you always.”
O.K. So now I’m thinking. Just what does this mean anyway? It means that a true Christian should not pass up opportunities to be genuinely helpful to others who genuinely have need, whoever they may be. In the “Good Samaritan story” it was the priest and Levite who miserably failed the test. They had opportunity and means to be helpful, but choose to not become involved. Then it was the generally despised Samaritan who actually performed the helpful deed. It was he who realized the unknown victim was in desperate need of a helping hand and he gladly gave it. The Samaritan realized the victim was his neighbor even though he may have never seen him before, and he was also not of his race.
Jesus’ teaching here is very plain and unmistakable. Who was neighbor to the unknown victim of crime? Was it the priest? Was it the Levite? No, it was the Samaritan. Jesus made the obvious application. “Go and do thou likewise.”
It really is true. What we keep, we lose. What we invest in others, we keep and it multiplies. Let us all be keenly aware of the plight of others. Those who need help the most are most likely those who will not ask for it. When opportunity knocks, let’s be ready to be a good neighbor.

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Church 2


Jesus has called the first members of His Church. He went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. Now you can find that in Matthew 4:23.

Jesus ministry began immediately proving who He was. He had yet much that needed to be done and quickly launched into a teaching ministry for the small band that was following Him. Matthew chapter 5-7 comprises the first lessons that He gave the Church.

His healing proved who He was, not only to the lost , but also to this little church that was following Him. Jesus asked these men: whom say ye that I am. Peter gave the proper recognition to his Savior – “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Then we receive that great and wonderful statement that is mis-understood by many. “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  This was Jesus statement that He, personally would build this Church upon the firm foundation of Himself. This is found in Matthew 16:16-18.

Let us examine the position of Jesus in relation to this Church He has called off the shores of Galilee. He called them out. He taught them. He led them. He sent them. He gave them power to do the work He wanted them to do. He was all things to this small Church gathered around Him.

Everything done was done by the Leader, the head, the power of the LORD. When He sent them two by two with nothing to care for them, in Mark chapter 6, He proved to them He had power and authority to care for His Church. The feeding of the five thousand was not only for the benefit of feeding the five thousand, no, it revealed the provision He would provide to the Church. This was leading to the majestic statement found in Matthew 28:18, “all power is given to me in heaven and in earth.”

The Church now sees the Christ, in His true position as the head of all things and especially to the Church. The Church could do nothing without the Power, the Position, and the Program of Jesus. Therefore the Lord, our Savior, gave that small band, the Church, the reason for them being called out. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: an, lo, Ia am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

More to come.

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Touching hearts.


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners… he is a joy to be around..”

His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.”

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper That he got from a grocery bag Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.” After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets..”

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling* her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer…. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you Mrs. Thompson for* believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”

(For you that don’t know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

Warm someone’s heart today. . . pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it. Just try to make a difference in someone’s life today? tomorrow? Just “do it”.

Random acts of kindness, I think they call it?

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