Sunday, April 14, 2024

ALTAR CALL – Church uplifts friends and neighbours

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FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS are often-times special people, and so a fine welcome was extended to those who gathered at Maxwell Wesleyan Holiness Church last week to celebrate Friends And Neighbours Day.Occasions such as this call for special ministry, and so Reverend Mitchie Nurse saw to it that his congregation, when they left the 9 a.m. service, were well fed with the Word of God; and with song from the Sunday School, with dance, and with offerings from Brother Dwight and his worship team (including the musicians), all of whom gave glory to Almighty God.Taking his text from Luke Chapter 10, Verses 25 to 37 – The Story Of The Good Samaritan – Nurse sought to show the true qualities of a good friend/neighbour, and at the same time exalted Jesus as the Greatest Friend.As he preached, he pointed out that the lawyer (one skilled in the Law of God), tried to put Jesus to the test, when he asked Him: “Who is my neighbour?”“He wanted to make Jesus look small, when he asked, ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’“Jesus refrained from answering. He simply told him, ‘You know the law’,” stated Nurse.He added: “This man goes on to draw from Deuteronomy 6, Verse 5: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thine God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul and with all your strength’. He also quoted Leviticus Chapter 19, Verse 18 . . . ‘And thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’,” Nurse noted.“Jesus tells him, ‘Do this and live’. “Jesus did not tell him anything new. He did not say that doing good works and keeping the Law would save him. “He knew within himself he could not keep the whole Law; so in trying to justify himself, he asked, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ ”Nurse stressed that in order to measure one’s love for God, one could look at one’s love for one’s neighbour.“It is easy to say we love God with our mind, soul and strength. How can we love God whom we cannot see, but hate our neighbour whom we can see?” Nurse asked.He noted that in the mind of the Jews, the Law belonged to the Jews, but Deuteronomy Chapter 10, Verse 18 stated that Jesus loved both the Israelite and non-Israelite.Nurse added: “It was clear that two of the travellers were Jews – the priest and the Levite. The priest was a representative of God, and no matter where he was going, if there was anyone whom this man, who was left half-dead, wanted to see pass by was a Christian – a priest. But the priest passed by on  the other side.“The Levite, a man, separated by God in the temple, did a little bit more than the priest. He looked closer, but he too passed by on the other side.“They felt no obligation to do something.”He said the Samaritan, who was considered half-bred, came by, drew near to the victim, took him to an inn, cared for him, and saw to it that he would be cared for.“Jesus asked the lawyer, ‘Who was this man’s neighbour’?”And he responded, ‘The one who showed compassion’.Nurse encouraged his audience to know Jesus – the Good Samaritan and Good Shepherd.“Jesus was trying to teach about the flaws in the Jewish Law. He showed that the religious systems were not enough.“Sometimes your best friend may not be a Christian. He may be a smoker or a lover of Alleyne Arthur [rum], but you can always call on him.“Are you a good neighbour? Are you a good friend? Are you a good Samaritan?” he asked.“Should I come by and ask a neighbour about you? Would I get a good response?”He urged those wounded by “friends” to turn to Jesus for healing.As the keyboardist played Just As I Am, a few people made their way to the altar for prayer. This was followed by an altar call to all men, who received prayer and encouragment before the service ended.• To have your church featured in Altar Call, please contact Cheryl Harewood at 430-5494, or email cherylharewood@nationnews.com.

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