Bob Goff said, "This has been God's simple yet brilliant master plan from the beginning. He made a whole world of neighbors. We call it earth, but God just calls it a really big neighborhood." Loving our neighbor well is seeing others for who they are. Their primary identity is Imago Dei - an image-bearer of God.
In Luke 10:25-37, we read about the parable of the good Samaritan. A lawyer is trying to put Jesus "to the test" and so he asks him, "Who is my neighbor"? Jesus, in good rabbinical fashion, tells a story and turns the tables. The road to Jericho was a small, dangerous road on the side of a cliff. It was wide-enough for one person to walk on, so when Jesus tells the story, it is understood by the audience that whoever came upon the beaten individual would have to do something. Jesus takes away all of the secondary identifiers of the beaten man. He is naked, not talking, and half-dead. There can be no assumptions made about "who" he is, other than a human being in need.
The lawyer's real question was, "Who is worthy of my love?"
Jesus' answer is, "Which one is the good neighbor?" The one who showed mercy.
1. See people as the Imago Dei. In Genesis 1:26-27, identity is EVERYTHING. It is our primary identity, and what makes us unique as human beings.
2. Care for all people the same:
A. Those with special needs
B. Those caught in human trafficking
C. Those in poverty
D. The orphan
E. The pre-born
F. Those in prison
G. Those next door
Remember, your neighbor is your "Near-bor". Anyone you look at is your neighbor.
"Unconditional love only comes from God. Not our neighbor, spouse, or friend. It's given to us for free and fills our tank to the brim so that we can give it to others without a snese of scarcity."
1. Pray daily for Christ to open your eyes to truly see your neighbors as He does.
3. Text PRAY30DAYS to 313131 to download the prayer guide
4. Use the guide in your worship card to list and pray for your neighbors at a meal.
5. Take initiative by keeping your eyes and ears open to find ways to love and serve your neighbors.