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WEEK 1: SEPTEMBER 20

LOVE THAT SEES

 

Understanding how to view people and the world around us as Christ does

 

If we are to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR, we must see them as Christ sees them. We are called to look on people with compassion and to care for those who are hurting. The idea is that all people are made in the image of God and it is by God’s grace that people experience joy or suffering. Our perspective changes in how we treat others, when we rightfully see where we would be apart from the work of Christ in our lives. We once were just as the beggar in need of a passerby. Christ looked upon us with compassion and mercy and restored us.

   Luke 10:25-37

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘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.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

WEEK 2: SEPTEMBER 27

LOVE THAT SERVES

 

In order to truly Love Your Neighbor then we must have the same mind as Christ which is to serve others

 

One of the greatest displays of the love of Christ is to serve others. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. There is a tie between serving others and giving up your life for them. We must die to ourselves so that we may live on behalf of others.

   Mark 10:35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do whatever we ask you.” “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them. They answered him, “Allow us to sit at your right and at your left in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” “We are able,” they told him. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with. But to sit at my right or left is not mine to give; instead, it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten disciples heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John. Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. But it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

WEEK 3: OCTOBER 4

LOVE THAT SHARES

 

If we truly love our neighbor, we shall without a doubt share with him or her the good news of Jesus.

 

How can we possibly claim to love our neighbor if we know the gospel but keep it from them? We are called to share the Good news of Christ with our neighbors. All of our neighbors. As a Christian, I cannot deny how much I long for my neighbors to know what I know: Jesus Christ is Lord. We’ve been made to know and love God. All of us fall short and deserve eternal punishment. But God, in his love, made a way of escape. The Father sent the Son into the world. Jesus lived a perfect life and, therefore could die as a perfect sacrifice in the place of all who would turn and trust in him. His resurrection proves he really is the King of Kings, and now all are called to follow him. This is the gospel, it’s the heart of my life, and it’s what I want my neighbors to hear and believe. This is not the only goal of good neighboring, but it is the end goal. I appreciate how Willis and Clement make this point: Clearly the aim of hospitality and loving your neighbor is more than merely inviting someone into our home, sharing a good meal and a few stories, and calling it a night. We are missionaries, after all. Paul reminded us, “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). And pastor Charles Spurgeon said, “Every Christian . . . is either a missionary or an imposter.” I want to share Christ with anyone and everyone that crosses my path. However, I want to be especially faithful with those God has planted in my life. These are my nearest neighbors, and I have a unique responsibility to show them Christ. Furthermore, I don’t want to be a beast in the pulpit but a coward in my neighborhood! I’m sure you don’t either. A display of Loving Your Neighbor is throwing the seed to allow the Lord to work. Your job is not to save your neighbor, your job is to share what you have already been given in Christ (the seed) and to share with your neighbor.

   Matthew 13:1-9

On that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying, “Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it grew up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground and produced fruit: some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times what was sown. Let anyone who has ears listen.