2009-03-29 - Are You My Neighbor
First a note from CF Devotionals: Please be careful when you are driving. Be aware that you can risk your safety by stopping to help someone along the road. As someone working in the Criminal Justice system, I can tell you that sometimes people set up "Scams," pretend they need help, then rob people or worse. I have seen the trauma they inflict on adults and children alike. (They also do this by coming to your home door, acting like they have broken down etc.). It's also helpful and loving to call 911 for someone, sometimes the best way to be a Good Samaritan, and they often need profesional assistance anyway. And it's not loving, to enable people to commit crimes; it's not good for the one committing the crimes, not to mention the victims. Having said that, we at CFDev affirm Rob's compassion and affirm also that there are many ways to be "neighbors." I'm delighted to welcome back our sub writer Rob, who has been on sabbatical for some studies! We're always glad to have his inspirational writing!
Have you visited your neighbor today? Read Scripture reference: Luke 10:25-37 In this fast-paced age, we move about in cars as we travel here and there. Many of us return home and pull our car into a garage, and the door shuts. Even as Seminary Students and Professors, when we pull through the gates onto campus we're off in our own little world. We are in our comfort zone. I feel that we ponder very little about the people living around the outside of the campus, or in our own neighborhoods around our homes.
We all see motorists broken down on the side of the road, all the time. I have been, and am sure you have been one of them at times. When I'm living in the Spirit, and not living in fear (my flesh), I will stop, or even go back to see if I can be of assistance. This is a visible need, that people can see and respond to with assistance. However, as we drive to our homes and pull into our garages, how many neighbors do we see in need? Is their strife going on next door in your neighbor's house? Is he apart from God because of his sin? Who is my neighbor?
Is the other "Expert in the Law" in house who drives the other car in the garage my neighbor? Or is it the person living next door who is having family troubles, or is walking down the street because he doesn't own a car, or the other person who is at his house sitting in his chair watching TV, reading a book my neighbor? Is his heart beat up? Does he need help? Has he been robbed of life by the evil one? Who is my neighbor? Jesus teaches us through this parable, that we are to have compassion on our neighbor, the man who was robbed and left for dead. Am I as supposed to just be sitting back in my chair, reading a book or watching TV, drinking my cup of coffee, when there are neighbors who are dying around me? Am I content with my life? Am I called to do something different?
Dear Heavenly Father, please change my heart where it has become hard and stiff, break the hard spots and make them soft and pliable so that I will be able to be a neighbor to the people around me. Help me to make time to walk the neighborhood, praying and meeting my neighbors and getting to know them in their suffering, that I may share you my best friend with them, and tell them how you saved me and gave me new life, Amen.
I want my life just to be for the glory of God.