We do our best to be a Friendly Church in Kansas City. Why? Because, God’s house should be a place where people can find hope and love and FRIENDS. Jesus was the friend to many, so shouldn’t we be as well?
In this series God’s Plan, I want to encourage people to not just go to church but to be the church. The best way for people to see Jesus is for us to love and give like Jesus.
This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, every one to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2: 2-7 NKJV
Jesus was born in Bethlehem which translates as “the house of bread”. Jesus is the “bread of life” Why was Jesus, the bread of life, laid in a manger? People just weren’t ready for Him. Though His coming was prophesied people were busy living and dealing with life.
It wasn’t the innkeeper’s fault there no room in the Inn but if he had known who Mary was carrying he would have made room. Do you have room in your heart for Jesus? Before we bring Jesus to a neighbor we must have room for Him in our own life.
But just who is our neighbor? It’s the person who lives in the house next door or down the street. It’s the people we work with. It’s the people we attend school with. We talk about reaching the world for Jesus but we need to be kind to the people who are around us every day.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 30-31 NKJV
Some people say they love God so much. They believe the Gospel message. Yet they are so unkind to people. The question of eternity is not only wrapped up in loving God but also loving people.
I believe you can make a difference in your world. It’s not an accident you got saved. It’s not an accident you were born in this time. Why did God want you alive right now? There are things happening in this dark world that at somehow need you.
We can all put labels on who we want to be our neighbor. Sometimes we only want people we like, who share our skin color, income, or who have similar interests.
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. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Luke 10: 30-31
Here is a man lying bloody in the road and a man who knows God’s Word passes him by.
Christianity is not about religious ministry. It’s doing religious duty. It’s not just about telling others how to live but showing love to others.
Likewise, a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. Luke 10:32 NKJV
Maybe this man was distracted, in a hurry, late to some important event. Regardless of the reason we see yet another religious person, also well versed in God’s Word, who showed no compassion.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 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.” Luke 10:33-37 NKJV
This Samaritan got off his high horse and sacrificed for this man. He took him to an Inn. Our good deeds need to lead somewhere. After you do your good deed are you taking people to church where they can have interaction and build relationships. Are you willing to invest with your own money to see someone’s life changed?
The scripture is very clear to state that the man who was beaten was Jewish and the man who had compassion on him was a Samaritan. There is no place for prejudice in God’s Kingdom. We are to love and do good to everyone.
How can we take the precious pearl of salvation and not share Jesus with others? We need to teach our kids to shine their light, to stand up for Christ at school. We need to shine our light to those we don’t like at work. We need to buy them lunch or coffee and pray for them.
I know this sounds cliche but let us remember that the only Jesus many will see is the one living inside you and me.
Go reach your neighbor.
Lord give me the heart and courage to reach my neighbors. Help me to pray for them and to be concerned for their souls. Help me to be kind and to shine my light in my neighborhood, my workplace, or my school. Help me to remember that my mission field is where I live my day to day life.
MEDITATE ON THIS
Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other. The one who loves another person has fulfilled Moses’ Teachings. The commandments, “Never commit adultery; never murder; never steal; never have wrong desires,” and every other commandment are summed up in this statement: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Rom 13: 8-9 GW