Archive for February 1st, 2009
In my Heartlight.org article this week about the Good Samaritan parable of Jesus, I look at what it means to love our neighbors. The following words are key to getting a crucial point embedded in the parable:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27).
The key to loving our neighbor is really loving God. We become like what we love. Or in the case of Jesus’ statement, we ultimately become like the One we love!
Of course pet “owners” are repeatedly kidded that they look like their pets. The following dog owners seem to validate that premise!
While this is humorous and makes for good light night show faire, we have all experienced the deeper reality behind the truth. Recently I sat with several others and listened to a son, a daughter, and several grandchildren talk with admiration and love for their recently departed grandmother. A friend of mine ask them how this dear lady had impacted their lives. Each of them could share something significantly good that they had as part of their lifestyle that they picked up from their mother and grandmother. They had become like the one they love!
This is crucial because I believe that the foundational reason we serve our neighbors is because of our love for God. As His love transforms to be more like Him, we are going to go about “neighboring” those around us. Since Jesus is the clearest example of what it means to “love our neighbor,” so the more we know and admire the Lord, the more we are going to be transformed to be like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18).
To better get a sense of how Jesus loved his neighbor, let me share a few places to look and learn more about Jesus. Make a list of all the different kinds of people Jesus served — take a quick scan of the gospels to remind yourself of all the different kinds of people Jesus’ life touched in a redemptive way (Matthew 8:1-38; Mark 9:1-50; Mark 3:1-64; Luke 7:1-50 are a good start). Now give the following questions an opportunity to work in your life!
What do you think the message is for you and how you are to “neighbor” others based on Jesus’ example?
So what’s the point of all of this?
How would you describe what “neighboring” others means in your daily life?
What leads you to keep from “neighboring” those who need our help?
What makes it hard “neighboring” others you may not know?
What makes it hard “neighboring” those you do know?
I really would love to get your responses on this! Have a great week.