Loving Your Neighbor

Serving is something some of us do well and others do grudgingly. It is easier to do when it is someone we love or someone we like, or who is like us or can give back to us. We love those people and we love serving those people.

Yet according to the gospels, lots of people love those people.

What makes being a follower of Jesus different, and one of the evidences of a changed life, is a willingness to serve people who can’t repay us, people not like us, people who are difficult or need a lot of grace.

In fact, when we serve we remind ourselves of the grace that God extended to us. You are hard to love, your life was (and maybe still is) a mess, you can’t repay God (although you try with all your might). Yet, God extended and continues to extend grace to you. Why? Love.

Everything starts with the love God has for you. Being loved by God is hard to wrap our minds around. What does God expect in return? What do you have to do so that God will love you? Will He hold out on love for you like a parent did? Will He love you more if you perform well? These all make sense in our minds, and yet all these things miss the character and depth of God’s love for us.

God doesn’t love you more based on your performance, and He doesn’t hold out on you. He gives His love and grace to you through His Son, and you did nothing outside of being broken and stuck in your sin for Him to extend it to you.

What did the man in the Good Samaritan parable do to get help? Well, he needed to need help. Right now God has placed someone in your life who needs help. Someone who is stuck and sitting on the side of the road of life unsure of how to move forward or wondering if they can move forward. Maybe they feel like their life, marriage or career is over. (Remember, if no one helped the man on the road to Jericho in Luke 10, there’s a good chance he would’ve died.)

Who will help that person in your life?

In our selfishness, we think someone else will come along. Yet, God sent you. You are there. You are their friend, their child, their parent, they are in your community group, they work next to you. You are there.

Will God send someone else if we overlook them? Maybe. God sent three people to help the man on the side of the road in Luke 10.

But our call, based on the love God has extended to us, is to extend that same love to those around us.

Is that messy? Yes. Is that easy? No. Will that cost you something? Yes. Is the grace God extended to you messy? Yes. Was it easy? No. Did it cost God something? Yes.

This week, today, tomorrow, you have a tangible opportunity to show someone what the grace and love of God are like. The grace and love of God that have been given to you.