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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Bobby Schuller » Bobby Schuller - God Didn't Make You Busy

Bobby Schuller - God Didn't Make You Busy

Bobby Schuller - God Didn't Make You Busy

Would you stand with us? We're gonna say this creed together as we do every Sunday. Hold your hands out like this as a way of receiving from the Holy Spirit. Let's say this together.

I am not what I do. I'm not what I have. I'm not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God. It's who I am. No one can take it from me. I don't have to worry. I don't have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share his love with my neighbor.

Thanks, that's the gospel. That's the truth. God loves you. He's proud of you. He sees you. Yeah, and we do too. We're so glad you're here. That's a great place to start with today's message. Today, I wanna say something that I know you already believe, but everyone needs this reminder, including me, just how precious people are. The soul is a very fragile thing. People are a lot more fragile, especially the tough ones on the outside. A lot of people who seem really tough, those who have a hard wall, it's because they got burned a lot when they were, probably when they were kids, and they had to learn to power up to defend themselves and to not let anybody in.

It's so easy when you see that grump that lives down the street who's mean to everybody or that person at your job who's rude to everyone or when you think of people that are just really bad about communicating or hurtful or harmful to forget that they were a little child once, and forget the stories that every single person has. All of us are born innocent and pure and, you know, ready to take on the world, and then all of us, even Jeff Bezos, you know, even the ones that seem like they have it all have faced really tough things in life and have really suffered, and some people have suffered more than ever others, it's true, but people are precious, precious things to God. And you know what? They're precious to you, too, aren't they? And in the same way, God loved us and loves us even when we were at our lowest, even we made mistakes.

One of the best kind of lives we can live is one where we just learn to forgive people and hold life loosely and love our neighbor. That's actually the fullest, richest, best life we can live, and that's why Jesus teaches us to live that way. There are even people in our lives that we do appreciate, we do love, but something happens in life, it's proprieties and religious duties or sometimes it's things, like, you're just in a hurry. You're just busy. Your job is taking a lot from you, or whatever it is that we forget, your kids aren't gonna be kids forever. They're gonna be teenagers soon, and I heard that's a tough time. I don't know, I don't have a teenager. I got a 12-year-old. She thinks she's a teenager.

I got about another year until I go into full-blown, and teenagers aren't teenagers forever. You're not gonna have your kids the way they are that way forever. You're not gonna have your parents forever. You're not gonna have your siblings forever. You're not gonna have your spouse forever. The moments that we have with them, although sometimes the people we love and live with can be annoying and we argue over things like what to watch and not taking the trash out or leaving the toilet seat up or whatever it is that annoy us about the people that we do life with, the truth is when they're gone, we'll miss them. Value the people that you do life with, and the best way to do that is to take life slowly and to remember that people that sometimes are annoying or bother you a lot of times are hurting people and have a sad story somewhere in their timeline and deserve a little forgiveness and mercy.

Forgiving people is the best way to live life, and that brings us to the parable today. Today we're talking on one of the most preached parables ever. I try and follow the lectionary, so I don't really choose my scriptures. I just let the lectionary choose for me, and I just go with it, and today, we're going with the good Samaritan. You know, it's a passage you've heard a million times if you've grown up in church, but, I think the message of the Good Samaritan is lost. Good Samaritan is not as much about helping someone on the side of the road, and it is that. It's about loving people that make your stomach turn. It's about loving people that live near you that bother you. It's about loving annoying people.

It's about loving extra grace, what we call in the church extra grace required, EGRs, EGRs, and understanding that when I needed mercy, someone out there gave it to me and that the Lord gave it to me and he forgave me when I was a sinner, and I can love people that aren't perfect too, and in fact, that's a good way to live life. It's not, like, a sacrifice. It's the fullest, best, richest way to live. Before we get to that, a word on parables. A parable is a short story. Like a fairy tale or a myth, it's something that probably didn't happen. It's just something that's made up. It's a made-up story to tell something that's true, a story that, in general, you can pull a lot of truths from but drives home the Word of God. Rabbis and Jesus love to use parables to teach the truth.

The first parable, so, in those days, the idea was that the parable gave the Bible handles. That, like, the way you'd put handles on a basket, that without parables, you can still grab a basket and kinda hold it like this, but it's not, it's kinda hard to hold, but if you have handles on, it's pretty easy to pick up, and these parables help you truly understand. The rabbis used to love to say that when you understood a parable, you have heard it and you have heard it, you have seen it and you have seen it. So, in rabbinical tradition, there's two ways to see something, and there's two ways to hear something, okay? So, like, for example, we'll go with this parable. The first parable in the Bible, in the Old Testament, is a parable that the prophet Nathan tells King David.

Now, you might know this story. King David was a legendary figure, and months ago I kinda talked about the arch of his life and now he had this meteoric rise and was this amazing man of God and was a good, moral person, and then towards the end of his life, he took this downward, just everything in his life became selfish and sinful, and the peak of that was when he murdered Uriah the Hittite. The story goes like this. David was in his temple, and Mount Zion, where the old city of David, Jerusalem was, it just is like a hill that looked like the shape of an arm rest on a sofa, where the the temple and the palace were at the top.

So, if you're the top, you could sit down and see everything, and the Bible says, and illicitly, that when the kings went off to war in that age, David stayed home. What does that mean to you when I say that? The kings go off to war and King David stays home. David is getting lazy. Nobody wants to go to war. He's gonna let his soldiers and his generals do that, and he's gonna stay back and watch the Super Bowl, and he's gonna stay back and play Call of Duty 2 and make some popcorn and throw back some beers and sit on the sofa and be lazy, right. This is David. It's showing that he's falling into kinda, like, shameful lasciviousness, and while he's there one night, scratching his belly and yawning, he walks out onto his porch and looks down and sees, the Bible says Bathsheba, beautiful woman, bathing. She was probably just washing her feet and her hands before going in. She wasn't naked, but he saw her and thought she was beautiful.

And so, he sent one of his men to invite her to the palace. She comes up, and we don't have any details, but it just says that he laid with her. It was Uriah's wife, and it was an evil thing. And so, he lays with this woman. She goes back to her house. A couple of weeks, few weeks go by and a message comes from her and says, "My Lord, I'm pregnant". So, she's pregnant, and her husband is still gone off to war. So, what's she supposed to do? So, David gets Uriah, her husband, to come back and throws a little meal for him in the palace, just this thanks for serving. Thank you for your service, you know. You're a true patriot. We're so grateful that you're fighting for Judah out there, et cetera, right? And he says, "And just to say thank you, I'm gonna let you go home and be with your wife for a few days".

You know, hopefully, cover it up, and he says thank you, and then he finds out that the soldier instead of going home to his wife is laying on a mat in the street. And so, he sends word. "Why are you laying on a mat in the street"? And Uriah, full of honor, says to the king, all of my brothers in arms are out there in the field sleeping and in danger. How can I go home to be with my wife and eat a meal with her and lay with her when they all have to sleep out in the cold, and David's going, you know, what am I gonna do now?

So, he's put to shame again, because he's not out, King David isn't with his men. And so, then, his last resolve to cover his tracks, he sends Uriah back, orders the general to effectively murder him by charging the city and then pulling back and allowing Uriah to be left alone with no guard. Uriah dies and King David takes Bathsheba, his wife, to be his own wife, and God has not, and this is incredibly horrible, right, it's a murder and a bunch of other things.

So, God sends the prophet Nathan to judge David, and Nathan uses the first parable in the Bible. He says, "My Lord, I need to tell you about something. There is a rich man who had all the cattle and sheep in a field, a wealthy man with lots of land and property. And he had a neighbor, a poor man, who all he had was one ewe lamb that he raised from just a babe, and it was like a pet, a member of the family, and everyone loved the little ewe lamb, and when the rich man had a visitor come to be with him and instead of taking one of his own sheep or cattle, he took that one little ewe lamb from his poor neighbor, killed it, and fed it to the visitor," and of course, King David stands up and full of wrath, being the judge of the nations said, "This man shall be arrested and executed".

All right, now pause there. David heard, but he didn't hear. David saw, but he didn't see. He understood what was just and right, but he didn't understand yet what Nathan was getting to, and then Nathan looks at him and says, "You are this man". At that point, David saw and he saw. He heard and he heard. And so, that's where this phrase comes from. When the rabbis say, "You have seen and you have seen. You have heard and you have heard". So, when we read in the Bible in passages like Isaiah or when Jesus says things, "I will speak so that they will hear but they won't hear, or they will see but they will be blind, or they won't see. They will hear the message and they will get it, but they will not apply it to themselves. They will get it, and they will want to enforce it on everybody else, but not me".

And that is the danger of every sermon I give, is that when the Holy Spirit, through the scripture, is trying to say something to you, you hear this message that's for you, and you go, "Ah, John needs to hear this sermon. Wow, I am sending this to my sister," right? It's when you hear it, but it's for someone else, all right. It's another political party or it's another religious group or it's your next-door neighbor or somebody you work with that although God has a word for them too, when the Lord speaks to you through his Word, the first place we ought to go is the mirror and say, "Lord, how can I learn from this"? And that's what the parable ought to do. And if you are a disciple and you understood and you took it for yourself, "This is for me," Jesus or Rabbi would say to you, "You've seen and you've seen. You've heard and you've heard. Blessed are you. For this was not revealed to you by man but by the Holy Spirit".

So, that brings us to the Good Samaritan. The purpose of the Good Samaritan is not really to teach us to help people on the side of the road, although we ought to do that. It's not about helping suffering people, but the Bible does instruct us to do that. It's actually about loving your enemies or loving people that make your stomach turn. It's answering a question. It's an answer to a question when Jesus is asked, "Who is my neighbor"? So, we'll start there. Luke chapter 10, verse 25, says that, "On one occasion, an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus". That sounds negative. This is actually an honor. So, the teacher of the law would be like a seminary professor, and he's doing this to, to say that he wants to learn more from Jesus. So, it's an honor. It's not a negative thing. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life"?

Jesus, being a good rabbi and Jew, responds with a question with a question. "What is written in the law"? he replied. "How do you read it"? The man answers, and this is important. This actually shows that this man is a student, in some ways, of Jesus. He said he answered, "Love the Lord your God with your heart, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself". Just to pause here for a minute. This version of Deuteronomy is the way Jesus himself framed it. He's the first one to do this. These two verses here, one's from Deuteronomy, and one is from Leviticus. The one in Deuteronomy is one of the most famous Bible verses, Deuteronomy 6:5, where it says, you shall love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your... and the word in Hebrew is me'od, which means "very".

So he translated, literally, it says, the Bible says, in Deuteronomy, you shall love the Lord with all your heart all your soul and all your very, and if it sounds weird in English, trust me it sounds weird in Hebrew too, and this is driven many Jewish rabbis crazy... why did Moses write it this way? What does this mean? It almost sounds like if you got like a three-or four-year-old that was trying to express something, said, I just love the Lord with all my heart and all my soul and all my very. You know, it's what it feels like. And so, they don't know how to translate it, and they often say might, but you almost get the essence of it when you say very. Don't you? And so, lots of people ask rabbis what does it mean "very"? And Jesus replaces the word "very" just before this with the word mind. The word mind is not mentioned in the Old Testament.

So, when this teacher of the Old Testament says you shall love the Lord with your mind, it shows that he has been listening to Jesus, learning from him, and repeating back to his teacher, what he previously learned, all right, so, I understand from you, Rabbi, this is the way I can obtain eternal life, and Jesus says you've answered correctly. Do this and you will live. Now, that word eternal life doesn't just mean heaven, and it does. It means eternal life. It means life now, as I've said before, it's not just the length of your life. It's the quality of life. Eternal life is the quality of God's life. So many people don't wanna live this way because it's like, "I'm gonna live a bad life here so that I can have a good life when I die". That is not what the Bible says. This is a good life. This is the best life you can have here and when you die, all right. Okay, you get it.

So, this is how you get the richness and the fullness of what it means to truly live. It's a philosophical question. Love your neighbor as yourself. Okay, so, then there's a long, awkward pause, 'cause you can see the man wants to ask another question, but he's tryin' to figure out how to frame it, and the Bible says, "Well, who is my neighbor"? And it says he was wanting to justify himself, and that's a good question. Who's my neighbor? There were a lot of people who said my neighbor is only people who are fellow Jews, but there were other teachers who said your neighbor is anyone who dwells near you. So, which one is it? Which one's my neighbor? Which one is the one who really belongs to me? And in response, Jesus gives him this parable. He says that there was a Jewish man walking from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and let's just pause for a minute. Jericho, in Israel, is way down in this Jordan River Valley.

So, Jerusalem, you'll see on the left... I'm sorry to the guy on Google images who I ripped this off from. I don't know who you are, but I love this image. Way to go. I didn't make this, but there's, on the left you can see this perfect, Jerusalem is 2,500 feet above sea level. It actually snows in Jerusalem in the winter. I'd love to go to Jerusalem when it's snowing, and Jericho is way down, you know, in this valley, that's way way down below sea level, just to the west of the Dead Sea. Dead Sea is 1,200 feet below sea level. It's the lowest point on planet Earth, and actually the Sea of Galilee, I believe, is like, 600 or so feet below sea level. So, just put that in comparison, how many of you been to Death Valley here in Southern California? So, you know Death Valley is very hot, and it is 250 feet below sea level.

So, this is four times lower than that. And so, when you walk from Jerusalem down to Jericho, it's a 20-mile journey right down a mountain, the whole way. So, that means the roads looked like this the whole way. It's a hike. When you walk from Jerusalem to Jericho, it's not a fat, nice, gardened Roman Road. You know, you're not gonna miss a guy that's on this side. You have to step over him, and the Bible says that there were two Sadducees. The first was a priest and the second was a Levite, and they were walking from Jerusalem to Jericho. that means they'd already done their temple duties that the role of a priest is to do all the temple duties and to be clean before they do that. So, they were coming home from that, and both of them saw this man who had been beaten and robbed, and both of them walked around him.

Now, it's often interpreted that the reason they did that is because they were heartless. That's not it at all. That's not why they did it. They did it because the Bible told them too. If you are a Levite or a priest, you're not allowed to touch anyone who is dead. And so, you see a man, it says he was half dead, which is an expression saying he looked dead, but maybe he was alive, but was probably dead, and because they didn't want to break the Torah because of propriety, they went around him. Jews in general we're not supposed to touch the dead in the same way that you're not supposed to eat bacon. It's, you know, there's some scenarios, if it's a family member, you can do it, but a stranger, you're not supposed to touch dead people, or else you become ceremonially unclean.

So, the story goes, and everybody there listening, by the way, thinks the third person is gonna be a rabbi or a pharisees, so two Sadducees stepped around the man 'cause they're so legalistic, and then a Pharisee stopped and helped him, which by the way, a Pharisee absolutely would've stopped to help the man because he was Jewish. A lot of us don't understand that the Pharisees in Jesus's day, a lot of 'em are really good people, not all of them were were bad, and they had rules that human life comes before some of these other, you know, clean laws or whatever. Okay. But instead of saying, a Pharisee or a fellow Jew or a prophet or an Essene or some good character, Jesus chooses a Samaritan. Now, on the list of good versus bad in those days, you probably already know Samaritans were on the very bottom, just below prostitutes and tax collectors. They were scum. What is it, I always, "West Side Story". Yeah, something like that, okay.

And what were the two families? The Sharks and the Jets. Thank you. I always get it muddled with Romeo and Juliet, but it is supposed to copy Romeo and Juliet, right? The Capulets and the Montagues? I gotta see it in English. The Samaritans and the Jews were like this but worse, and it went back hundreds of years, and the Jews were at fault too. Both were at fault. There was a king, a Jewish king, John Hi...can never say his name. Hyrcanus who destroyed the temple on Mount Gerizim 100 years before this. He just went up and destroyed it. So, the Jews and the Samaritans had the same Torah, almost identical. It was a little bit different, all the same practices, the ways of praying, but they hated each other. They were close but not close enough.

And so, the Samaritans were the worst of the worst, and they find that it's the Samaritan, not a fellow Jew, who stops and helps a rival, a rival. If you went into Samaria, they would beat you up and murder you. If a Samaritan went into Israel or Judah, they'd beat you up and murder you. They hated each other. And so, Jesus picks the kind of person that would make everybody there and make their stomach turn. I don't even like to say their name. Jesus says that it's this guy that stops and helps his enemy. He bandages his wounds. He puts him on his donkey. He takes him to an inn. He pays money to make sure that the innkeeper, those are people that were considered dishonest in those days, would care for him and says, whatever you do to care for 'em, I'll reimburse you, and I'm gonna come back and check up on him, and then Jesus asked the teacher of the law, probably knowing his heart, who was the man's neighbor.

Do you remember what the teacher of the law said? He couldn't even bring himself to say Samaritan. He just says the one who showed mercy. The one who showed mercy. Jesus says, "That's right. Now go and do likewise". Go and do likewise. You see, the passage is not as much about helping people who are in trouble, and it is. It's about loving your enemy, loving people that make your stomach turn. You wanna hear and hear this morning? You wanna see and see this morning? Ask yourself who makes my stomach turn? And know that that is someone you are called to love, not out of duty but because it's the best way to live life. Can we just say that a peaceful heart is better than an angry heart? Can we say that that a merciful heart is better than a judgmental heart? Can we say a head that looks up is better than a nose that looks down.

Can we say when we walk in mercy, and kindness and slowness and affection towards people, when we let God be on the throne and judgment instead of Bobby Schuller, that that's better, that it's better not to judge, that it's better to live life, loving what is good and hating what is evil, but not hating people? That an easy, relaxed life in Jesus, easy yoke, is the best way to live, to know that when I was a sinner, God forgave me. I can forgive people even when they're not saying they're sorry. I can do that. And that's just a better way to live life, and that's the message, and that's what our country needs today, isn't it? I mean, you just see.

I don't know why people think if you shout and yell and ridicule and make comments online that you're gonna convince people that disagree with you to agree with you. There isn't a lure of gentleness that is made available to us all, and that is the way to win people. You want to win people to your side, listen to them first. You want to win people to your side, love on them. Show them some mercy in a world that's unmerciful and uncaring. Can I get an amen from the house? This is the message of the Lord, and I'll just finish with this. So, God, is to love our enemies, but he just really wants us to love everybody, right, and it's so easy to forget even the people that we live with and do life with to fly by them.

I'll finish with this story, Malcolm Gladwell, great hair. I love this guy. Great author, I really enjoy his books, not a Christian author, but does a lot of good stuff about what's happening in society. Wrote a book called I think it was in "Tipping Point" about these seminary students at Princeton. All of them said that the reason they went to seminary is they wanted to make the world a better place or they wanted to help people. And so, they got two groups of seminary students and they asked them to write a short sermon on the Good Samaritan, the story about, you know, helping someone else.

And so, they both, they all prepared these sermons and then they would go from one building to the building next door, where they would give their message and then they hired an actor to dress in, like, a suit or plain clothes or something and to be lying in the alleyway with, you know, make up that makes him look beat up, lying face down, groaning, and going like, oh, like this, like in trouble, and to see how many students who are giving a sermon on the Good Samaritan would stop and help this guy. They broke them into two groups, the first group they told, "Hey, you got a little extra time. Why don't you just head over now, and relax there and they'll call you when you're ready". Of that group, almost 70% of them stopped and helped the man, but in the second group. They said, "Oh, you're still here? They're expecting you, you're supposed to be there five, ten minutes ago, you better hurry and get over there now".

Of that group, how many of you think stopped? 10%. They literally, they actually kept moving the guy to, to where he was in front of the door they had to go into give their sermon. So, they literally had people giving a sermon on the Good Samaritan that were literally stepping over a beaten, wounded man to talk about how you should help a beaten and wounded man. Were they bad people? They were just in a hurry. You see how hurry makes good people bad? Doesn't make you bad. Makes you blind. Hurry comes from a posture of importance. I whatever I'm doing now is way more important than whatever that is. I don't have time for that. Look, we've all been there. That's a part of the modern world.

Can I just say today that hurry is eroding your life. You think life is going by your fast. It's going by fast 'cause you're hurrying. We can't love the people near us if we're in a hurry. Hurry doesn't make you faster. It makes you clumsy. When we're in a hurry, we can't see, we can't see and see. We can't hear and we can't hear. You can't see people that need someone to stop and pray with them or give them a hug or love them love on them, a little bit, and we miss out on so many other wonderful opportunities, opportunities to do well, to get a new job, to get a new relationship, a new friend, a new whatever, but when we hurry, we miss all those things, including the people that need us.

And so, many of the dangers that we face in life is hurrying past our kids or hurrying past our parents or past our neighbor or past our colleague, and that's not the way to live life. That's not eternal life. Eternal life is walking in the unhurried rhythms of grace and having eyes to see and ears to hear what the Holy Spirit in your body just at joy with the world and the life that God's given you, and that is what God has called us to have. You're not gonna have your husband forever. You're not gonna have your wife forever. You're not gonna have your parents forever. You're not gonna have your kids in the way they are today forever. You're not gonna have your best friend forever. Enjoy every moment with the people God's given you. They are one of the greatest treasures you can have in life and greatest gifts and enjoy them and enjoy it slowly. That's really what so much of life is about.

So, Father, we thank you for the people you've given us. We pray that you'd give us an unhurried heart, one that's relaxed because we have faith in you, because we trust you. Thank you that you do the saving, that you do the work. You do it God. We just trust our lives to you. Forgive us of the times, Lord, we've hurried past the people we love or people that we don't like, and help us to have a heart that's just overflowing with agape love and compassion for the people in our world. We thank you that you've called us and you saved us in Jesus's name. All God's people said amen. And now the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you his peace in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

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