"Love your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27
Who is my neighbor? That is a good question. It can also be a most embarrassing one. Most people don't know the names of all who live in their immediate neighborhood. Some don't even care to know.
According to Christ's story of the Good Samaritan, all those are our neighbors who are in need of our help. We are to love them even as we love ourselves. This goes pretty deep.
The needs of our neighbors may be similar to the needs supplied to the man who was beaten on the Jericho road. Our neighbors have many needs. Some people are lonely. Others hunger for a word of warm encouragement. Death may have taken a loved one. Someone has lost a job. Another's son or daughter is in serious trouble. Gossip may be undercutting a neighbor's reputation. Others are living in unbelief and rejection of the Gospel message.
Helping others may mean going out of our way, causing an inconvenience, and changing our immediate plans. It may even present some real problems. When God's love dwells in our hearts it overcomes all barriers. Do you see a neighbor in need?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us respond in love to those around us and in our actions to reflect Your love; for Jesus' sake. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)