Be a Neighbor Lover
Highlighted SFC Value: B.R.I.D.G.E.
“Engaging” – Like Jesus, we intentionally meet all people (Christian and non-Christian) where they are, both physically and spiritually. Matthew 28:19-20
Applicable SFC Brah-verb: Brahverb #28
“Be a neighbor-lover bro…”
It’s not about ‘who’ your neighbor is. It’s about ‘being’ a neighbor in a selfless way.
Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. That means the things that you do for yourself, the things you pursue, you are to do for your neighbor. You are to pursue your neighbor’s needs with the same effort and ferocity that you pursue things for yourself. Every time you eat, think about if you have fed your neighbor. Every time you buy something, ask yourself, “When was the last time I bought something like this for my neighbor?” Every time you go to work, think about spending half your paycheck on your neighbor. Could you buy an extra snowboard for my neighbor when you buy yours?! That is wicked radical! How is that possible?! How can I love my neighbor as much as I love myself? Come on, really?!
The Apostle Paul said, “I consider my life worth nothing to me” (Acts 20:24, NIV), because he had something greater than life itself! As we seek after and live in Christ, His love is in us. His all-powerful, amazing, beautiful love that drove Him all the way to the cross to die in my place; that same love, is in me! Because His love is in me, I am fulfilled, I am satisfied by Christ. (Matthew 5:6, John 4:13-14; 10:10) I no longer need to pursue the things of this world to attain love, I need nothing, and therefore I am able to give freely to my neighbor. Because I have all that I need in Christ, I can give all to my neighbor. I can love my neighbor as myself!
In the story in Luke 10:25-37 the dude raises a great question, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan. Notice, Jesus’s response doesn’t answer the guy’s question directly, but reveals a heart issue in him. Jesus focuses not on “who is my neighbor?” but rather on, “who was being a neighbor?” to the guy who got all jacked up in the parable. Jesus purposely turned the man’s outward focus inward to reveal the man’s heart. His heart was concerned with who should receive love (as if he might run out of it).
Instead of wondering who your neighbor is, be a neighbor! Maybe your neighbor is rich, maybe homosexual, maybe they’re intimidating, maybe an addict, maybe they’re an arrogant skier or that obnoxious snowboarder in the lift line, maybe they’re old and cranky. Jesus wasn’t concerned with who your neighbor is. God’s love is for everyone regardless of who they are. Christ is concerned with you being a neighbor lover.
Application for SHRED LIFE:
This week, be challenged by these two things. First loving your neighbor as yourself really does mean ‘as yourself’ and it is possible, because our needs are satisfied in Christ. Secondly, it’s not about WHO your neighbor is, rather it’s about BEING a neighbor. Be a neighbor-lover this week and do it in such a radical way that demonstrates to the world that your heart and treasure is in Christ alone!