Living Gospel-first Among Our Neighbors
Does the value of our time and activities outweigh the value of living out the gospel among the people and neighbors in our lives? How do we keep this from happening?
First, we have to remember that people want to feel valued. And that value is hard to come by in this world. In the culture today, we have so many influences and forces pulling against us. It’s easy to feel dissatisfied and like we are falling short. What we see on social media leads us to believe we must have the perfect figure, an expensive house, a high-powered job, children who achieve a 4.0 in school. We constantly feel pressure to perform.
What we can help friends and neighbors to see is that we have value because we are made in God’s image. Genesis 1:27 tell us, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” So, when we believe in God, we realize we have value because we are created in His image. We need to encourage others (and ourselves) to let that sink in for a moment. God is perfect and holy, yet He made us. Why? To have fellowship with Him, to enjoy Him forever, and also to invest in people around us.
People all around us are hurting and need a relationship with God that can only be found through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. But, how do we share about God if we’re not trained ministers or Bible experts?
It’s not as hard as you may think. For example, a friend of mine started a simple Bible study in her neighborhood. It’s just looking at and discussing passages in the Bible. But every year new neighbors join in, and they have found a place of acceptance and a place to learn about the love of Jesus. We can also take a meal to a neighbor having a difficult time or mow the lawn for a senior citizen. On a plane, we can show kindness to a stressed traveler or help a struggling mom with a toddler in the grocery store. We can volunteer at the local food pantry or a home for wayward children.
Every day we come in contact with people who are longing to know the peace and joy we have in Christ. What does it cost us to take a little extra time out of our day to show kindness? Or, maybe God is leading us to dedicate more time, like starting an exercise program or book club with neighbors. Let’s pray for God to show us ways to build relationships, so we have the opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ – and create opportunities to lead friends and neighbors to Him.
I John 4:11-12 tells us, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” So, we can share about the grace of God by caring for those around us through practical, daily activities and expressing how God is working in our own lives.
God also tells us in Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with his love; He will rejoice over you with singing.” God wants us to experience abundant lives and see ourselves as He sees us, as precious children He delights in. We have the privilege of sharing this gift with others who want to feel loved and valued. We just have to decide if the cost of our time or resources is worth the eternal benefit of seeing others experience God’s unconditional love.
PO Box 703929
Dallas, TX 75370-3929