“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Matthew 22:39.
Yesterday we focused on the greatest commandment, to love God, today the focus is the second greatest commandment. Jesus said you can sum up all the law and prophecies with these two commandments: to love God and to love your neighbor. A few years back, I went to a seminar called, “The Art of Neighboring”. It flowed from a book by the same name written by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. The whole premise of the book and seminar was this; what if Jesus was serious? What if he meant this literally? Maybe Jesus wants us to love our actual neighbor. It seems like this should be obvious, but sometimes we take this figuratively. We sort of live out the idea to be generally nice to other people. However, Jesus said it very directly, to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Let’s take Jesus’ words to heart and love our actual neighbors. Whether you live in a neighborhood, apartment complex, rural area, or some kind of senior housing; you have neighbors. When you go to work, you have neighbors: people at the station, desk, or office next to you. Those are the people, at the very least, who we want to love with the love of Jesus. Take some time to write out the names of your actual neighbors. Maybe you don’t even know their names. Write as much as you know: people in the blue house, man with the little dog he walks, etc. Begin to pray over those people. Ask God to give you opportunities to meet them. Maybe today is the start of reaching them for Christ.