“INTERRUPTION OR OPPORTUNITY                     By Pastor YAU

Luke 10:29-37                                                                 May 7, 2006

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)    God’s interruption: Often times, God’s assignments for us come in strange ways, often in the form of interruption.  While you are busy with your work or when you think you’ve done your duties for the day and try to settle in for a quiet evening at your sweet home, someone calls on the phone with a problem he can’t handle or a lady asking if you have time to see her mom at the emergency room because she has a serious chess pain.

2)    Man’s opportunity: A Samaritan was making his way to Jericho from Jerusalem for some important business and saw a wounded Jew lying alongside the road. Others had hurried by, too busy with their own affairs to be interrupted. But this Samaritan who was despised by the Jews would be expected to pass by as well. Instead he “had compassion, bandaged the wounds, set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn and took care of him.” He changed an interruption to his business into an opportunity of doing good things to someone who needed help.

 

WE ALL HATE INTERRUPTIONS:

1)    They mess up our plans: Everyone has his/her plans of life. We all have things we deem important and we want to accomplish them without interruption. It may be some last minute homework, a project, a paper or just a much waited movies, we have planned for the day or the evening and just don’t want to be interrupted. But at the least expected moment, something happens and turns our plan upside down. Life is full of interruptions.

2)    They hinder our progress:  Efficiency is important in today’s life and interruptions certainly jeopardize efficiency. Everyone wants to get things done and done fast. No one wants to be left behind. Interruptions just get in the way of getting things done efficiently.

3)    They divert our attention:  If you are concentrating doing some things important, interruptions certainly get your attention away from what you are doing and that is bad for your work. No one can do a good job by divided attention. So, we hate interruptions.

4)    They are not things we truly care: When things we care come to us, they are not interruptions. Interruptions are things that concern us very little, if any. We all care about things and people we see important and will do all we can to get them done and done well. Interruptions just get in the way and therefore we hate them.

 

TURNING INTERRUPTIONS TO OPPORTUNITIES : (Today’s text)

Hate it or not, interruptions will happen and happen again, so what can we do about them? Well, change them into opportunities is a good way.

1)      He had compassion on him: The word “compassion” means his intestines “were moved.” This is about his emotional response to the wounded man. His has pity on the man’s situation. This same word was used to describe the emotional response the father had to his prodigal son when he saw his son’s pitiful condition. This is more than just “knowing” someone is pitiful but feeling his pitiful situation. If you are moved by the pitiful condition, you won’t feel interrupted. You will take it as an opportunity to do something.

2)      He bandaged his wounds: This is the key to the whole story: transforming emotional response into actual assistance. The Good Samaritan did not stop at the emotional level. He transformed his feeling into action: he went to him and bandaged his wounds. It is good to has compassion on the pitiful situation of those who need help, but that emotional feeling won’t do any good to elevate their pitiful situation until you actually go out and do something to meet their needs.

3)      He yielded his donkey: The donkey was the only means of transportation of the Samaritan. To allow his donkey to carry the wounded man means he was willing to divert his plan of life in order to help the wounded man. Often times, we face some situation we have to make a choice: Your needs verses the needs of others. Unless you are willing to give up your needs, sacrificing your plans, schedules, convenience or ambitions, you won’t be able to see interruptions as opportunities of helping someone.

4)      He followed through his care: He paid the innkeeper 2 silver coins and promised to pay the rest when he came back. This is where many of us fail: many of us are willing to start helping someone but are unable to follow through until the job is done. To start helping someone is not as hard as keep on helping until the guy gets on his feet. This takes a longer commitment of time, resource and emotional energy. But until you can help the guy to stand on his feel, all the effort you have done is in vain.

 

CHANGING OUR MINDSET: It is our mindset that perceives things: is this an interruption or an opportunity? A biblical mindset will help us see interruptions as opportunities. Few people can control things from happening including interruptions. Instead of grumbling on them we may be better off by changing our mindset to face them head on.

1)   God is in control of all things: This is the most important mindset we need to have to see things from God’s perspective: including things from the devil, all things happen under the will of God and therefore, nothing is an interruption. When God allows something to happen or someone to call you which we see as interruptions, they are in fact God’s agents to accomplish His will so we cannot see them as interruptions.

2)   We are instruments of God: Historically God used many human beings to accomplish His purpose and often times not cater to our convenience. When God called Moses to deliver the Israelis from the oppressive treatment in Egypt, Moses was busy tending his flock. John and Peter were called when they were cleaning their nets for another fishing trip. Paul was on his way to Damascus to protect the Jewish religion when God interrupted his journey but called him to bring the gospel to the gentile world. When God stops you from your routines or interrupts your comfort zone, He has a higher purpose in it and you are His agent to accomplish that purpose. They are not interruptions but opportunities.

3)   We are to share what we have: Recognizing that God is the true owner of all things including ours: time, material, family, job and everything else we may have, He wants us to share what He allows us to have with others near and afar for His purpose and glory. We are not owners but stewards of His trust. When God wants to use what He entrusted us we have no right to complain or say no.

4)   We are at our best when we share: We learned this great virtue in our kindergarten days: share with others, and we need to practice it everyday of our lives. It is the heart of sharing that makes us useful and beneficial in the eyes of both God and man. Everyone is capable of getting things for himself but only those who have big hearts are able to share. Getting things for oneself never makes anyone great and lovable but those who care about the needs of others and are willing to share will remain in people’s hearts.

 

CONCLUSION:

1)    Asking that same question? If you ask that same question as did the lawyer in the Bible “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus may answer, “The person in need I am sending your way.” By doing so you may be helping angels. (Hebrews 13:2)

2)    How would you like? How would you like to be remembered by those who know you when you moved out of town or out of this world? A selfish, stingy, don’t-care, don’t-bother-me guy or a generous, helpful, willing and caring person? Often times, opportunity comes only once and if you miss it, it’s over.

3)    One important interruption: There is one important interruption you can’t afford to miss: God’s call for you to repentance and accept His gift of salvation through believing in Jesus Christ. You may think you are just too busy for God but if you miss this divine interruption, you will miss that opportunity for eternal life.