Transforming Our Relationships With Our Neighbors (4TR)

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Transforming Our Relationships with Our Neighbors Luke 10:25-37 Our relationships with our neighbors are transformed through obedience to God that loves and serves them. 1. Who is our neighbor? ● When this expert in the law sought to justify his knowledge over his service, he was surprised when Jesus told him to go and serve those whom he despised. ● We are like this self-justifying expert when we try to control who we serve. ● Jesus teaches us that we do not choose our neighbors; our neighbors
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  Transforming Our Relationships with Our NeighborsLuke 10:25-37 Our relationships with our neighbors are transformed through obedience to God thatloves and serves them.1. Who is our neighbor? ● When this expert in the law sought to justify his knowledge over his service, hewas surprised when Jesus told him to go and serve those whom he despised. ● We are like this self-justifying expert when we try to control who we serve. ● Jesus teaches us that we do not choose our neighbors; our neighbors are notlimited by geography or co-worker status; our neighbors often don't pop up atthe most convenient times or places, and they certainly don't call ahead first;and our neighbors are often the most unlikely people! ● Jesus redefines neighbor when he says that an outcast--perhaps even an enemy(the Samaritan)--was a neighbor to the man in need! The implication is that weare to love our neighbors as ourselves--doing for others what we would do orwant done for ourselves. ● But more importantly--our loving our neighbors is a bit random and chaotic. It'snot a program or a church activity; it's something we commit to when wecommit to following Jesus--as we love God, we also must love our neighbors.2. To love our neighbors teaches us obedience to God. ● Sadly, many religious people think they are being completely obedient to Godbecause merely because they are “ritually clean,” like the priest and Levite(Luke 10:31-32). ● Jesus teaches us that true obedience means we sometimes get dirty loving ourneighbors (Luke 10:33ff). ● Test your obedience to God by your willingness to get involved with yourneighbors to love them.3. To love our neighbors teaches us to love even our enemies. ● We’re good at loving those we like, and especially those who loved us first. ● But the Samaritan loved his enemy, and this we’re not really good at. ● Love your enemies and reach out to them to serve them. Jesus teaches us to dothis sacrificially and selflessly (Luke 14:12-14)4. To love our neighbors teaches us to use our time and resources for others. ● Typically, we serve by doing one or the other. We give money to a charity or achurch and think it absolves us from giving our time. Or, we give our time...andthink it exempts us from using our resources as well. ● The Samaritan did both--he spent extensive time helping the beaten man andreturning to check on him; and he used his resources (both physical resources© 2010 Jeremy Hoover / www.jeremyhoover.com / jeremy@jeremyhoover.com  like bandages and money at the inn--with a promise of more, if necessary) toserve the man. ● Examine your use of time and resources: are you using what God has given youto love your neighbors?5. The best way to love our neighbors is to share the message of salvation with them. ● Sharing the message of salvation with your neighbors can be done in severalways: through friendship; service; teaching. ● Using the resource handed to you today, you can begin reading the bible withneighbors who show a spiritual interest. (If they haven’t, keep loving them andserving them.) ● Help your neighbors move from this personal work to a bible class and Christianfellowship (we will be reorienting our Sunday morning bible classes aroundfellowship and evangelism). ● By doing these things, you are obedient to God, loving perhaps even yourenemies, and using your time and resources for God to love others into God’skingdom. ● As Jesus said, Go and do likewise.© 2010 Jeremy Hoover / www.jeremyhoover.com / jeremy@jeremyhoover.com
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