Who wouldn't want a neighbor like that? You may think of other qualities you would prize even more. But the facts are there are times it is good to know your neighbor. Disasters have a way of bringing people together to seek aid from one another. I hope you never face a disaster but we know that they come to all people, without warning and without respect to who we are. I want to be a good neighbor and I hope you do too. You may not live next to me but any time another person is in need it is time for me to be neighborly and lend a hand. Thank you for being my neighbor.
When it comes to life we never know what the next moment may bring our way. We love to plan and set goals and that is a good practice. We also like to accomplish things that are meaningful and fulfilling in life. These plans usually involve others in our family or friends. One thing is certain, we all need a plan for how we are going to treat our fellow man as we endeavor to prosper in this life. Jesus once said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This simple verse falls into three natural parts. First, there is the command, “Thou shalt love...” Love is without a doubt the greatest single act of life. It is a living, giving, active thing. It is a sacrificial thing. Second, notice that this love is to be “as thyself.” It must be the same kind of love we demonstrate toward ourselves. We feed ourselves, cleanse ourselves, primp and pretty ourselves and we please ourselves. We naturally love ourselves. Third, we are to have this kind of love for “thy neighbor...” Neighbors are a good thing to have.
Very few people will argue with the first two ideas but when Jesus quoted this Old Testament truth there was a man present who tried to justify himself in this area by asking, “Who, then, is my neighbor?” You see, most of us have no trouble loving our neighbor as long as we can define who that neighbor is! Jesus illustrated this fact by telling a story about a Samaritan man who demonstrated a neighborly attitude. Samaritans were an idolatrous, half-breed nation. They were largely despised by the Jews. In his day a Jew could consider himself a good person and still mistreat and reject a person whom he considered unacceptable. Many people feel the same way today. Jesus told the story to get the man to face his own sinful condition. He understood what we must understand. Our thoughts and actions condemn us before God. Loving our neighbor means not lying, stealing, cheating, committing adultery, killing or just hating our neighbor. All of these are commands from God that relate to our neighbors. And when we do these things our heart condemns us.
Now, if we left our discussion right there we would be in an uncomfortable position. The breaking of God's law is sin. And the Bible makes it clear that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. Furthermore, it states that “the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. Because of our sin we stand condemned by God and worthy of the judgment of hell. Try as we may we will never escape the reality of our guilt before God. We may ignore it for now; we may drown it in activity or alcohol or drugs or sex or making money or any number of ways. But the day of judgment will come: “for it is appointed unto men, once to die, but after this, the judgment.” Someone has wisely said, “We are not really ready to live until we are prepared to die.” But thanks be to God that there is Good News!
The Bible declares, “But God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. God has provided forgiveness for our sins through the sacrifice of his own Son. It is through faith in his Son and his work for us that we can be saved from the judgment we deserve. God says, “He hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. To satisfy the righteous demands of God's law Jesus became the sinless sacrifice, our substitute, and paid the penalty of our sin. And to the one who exercises faith in Christ he gives the gift of eternal life. “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto salvation, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation...for whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9, 10, 13.
Thank you for allowing me to share this message with you. I want to be a good neighbor. Whether you are a neighbor close by or if you never see me again in this life, please feel free to call on me to help in any way I can. If you appreciate this message I encourage you to read your Bible daily and believe what you read. Find a good, Bible believing church to fellowship with other Christians. Most of all trust Jesus Christ. He will never let you down. O Magnify the LORD with me!