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Who is My Neighbor

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Who is My Neighbor?

Pastor Keith Hassell

 

 

Foundation Scripture:  Luke 10:25-27

 

I.          Loving God and loving your neighbor (Luke 10:27)

            A.        “Love the Lord your God . . .”

            B.         “Love your neighbor as yourself . . .”

1.         This completes the idea of love.  You cannot truly love God unless you love people.

II.        Who is my neighbor?

A.        Question:  How can I possibly be loving, kind, and giving to everyone in the world?  Should I love people who are not like me?  Should I love people who do not love God?

B.         It is natural for man to close in and make small his circle of love.

C.        Jesus taught us to include everyone in the entire world in our circle of love.

D.        The question is not Who is my neighbor? but Will I be a neighbor?

III.       Seven types of neighbors

            A.        A neighbor who is a desperate person (Good Samaritan, Luke 10:30)

1.         Luke 10:30, 36-37   “Then Jesus answered and said:  ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.’”

2.         When we discover a need, God wants to use us to help fill it.

                        3.         All ministry is based on meeting a need that has been discovered.

            B.        A neighbor who is difficult

1.         Leviticus 19:18  “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself:  I am the Lord.”

2.         Matthew 5:43-45  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”

            C.        A neighbor who is destitute (James 2:8)

1.         The poor are also our neighbors.  If we despise them because of their poverty and show partiality against them, then we are not fulfilling the “royal law.”  Instead we are to look at poverty as an opportunity to share our wealth.

2.         We can demonstrate our love by tangible practical giving such as with food, clothing, or shelter.

3.         David’s mighty men were once men who were “in distress, in debt, and discontented” (I Samuel 22:2)  God used David to love them and make them into great leaders.

            D.        A neighbor who is deceived

1.         Leviticus 19:15  “You shall do no injustice in judgment.  You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty.  In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.”

2.         The natural tendency is to separate from people that you feel are wrong---doctrinally, politically, or morally.  But Jesus loved everyone, even SINNERS.

3.         A church is supposed to be a “sinner-friendly” church.  When a person is wrong, he needs to someone to step into his life and help him change.

            E.         A neighbor who is different

1.         Leviticus 19:34  “The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself.”

2.         A stranger is someone who is new and different.  We think of people as “strange” who are not like us culturally, racially, or nationally.

3.         We are to reach out to those who are different in the same way we would reach out to those who are like us.

4.         Missions is an outward demonstration of loving the stranger.

            F.         A neighbor who is disabled

1.         Leviticus 19:14  “You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God:  I am the Lord.”

2.         We must demonstrate the love of God to those who are disabled by helping to ease the difficulty of those who have to work much harder at life to enjoy the basic comforts that we take for granted.

3.         We should observe the struggle that the disabled are having and get involved in practical ways to make their lives easier as well as to believe God for their total healing and restoration.

            G.        A neighbor who is defrauded

1.         Leviticus 19:13  “You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him.  The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.”

2.         Just about everyone in life has been “ripped off” at one time or another.  We seem to live in a world that has as its motto:  What is thine is mine.

3.         As Christians, we are to operate in love and to be honest and fair in our dealings with others.

4.         To “love your neighbor as yourself” means to operate our business dealings in the same way we ourselves would want to be treated.  God will exact the same standard upon us that we use on others.

IV.       What is the essence of being a neighbor?

A.        Luke 10:36-37  “’So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’  And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’  Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”

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