Tuesday, February 1, 2011

who is my neighbor?

Romans 13:8 NLT
Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love yourneighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God's law.

Jesus talked a lot about neighbors.  He said we are to love our neighbor, help our neighbor, to be kind and so much more.  But one Scripture stood out to me this morning as I was praying.

Luke 10:29 NLT
The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

The man that asked the question was a religious leader and was trying to test Jesus.  The answer was a tough one and was literally an indictment on religion and those who are God followers.  It was the story of the good samaritan.  Let me get down to my point today?

Who is my neighbor?  Literally it is the people who live near us or on our street.  That is not what Jesus said.  Our neighbor is anyone we come in contact with.

Did you realize sometimes it is easier to be nicer to your neighbor than it is your own family.  Those who know the best and the worst about us are the ones we live with.  By the way, they are our neighbor.

Another person who is our neighbor is the guy or gal we know that we don't like.  Did you hear that?  The people we avoid or cringe when we are about.  They are, by God's definition, our neighbor.  It our call from God to love our neighbor, to serve our neighbor and to go out of our way to be kind.  It's not always easy, but it is always right.

Leviticus 19:18 NLT
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Mark 12:33 NLT
And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.

The first verse above says we are to owe nothing but only to love.  Thats not easy.  But when we love people, it opens us and opens them to new things.  Try it.  Love someone that you don't normally show love to.  Be kind.  Even the people that we can't stand being around are our neighbors.

Who is my neighbor that I need to acknowledge or serve today?  Who needs to see the love of God in action?  

Is it my wife or my kids, my parents or my family?  Is it my co-worker, my boss or the dude at school?  There is someone who is your neighbor who needs Jesus, and it is our job today to answer a simple question: who is my neighbor?

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