1997-04-16 - Serving Your Neighbor

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Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (NIV)

On Sunday my four year old son turned five. His "big birthday" party was yesterday. All his play school buddies went to a large "playland" resturant, we played and ate hot dogs! Yes I said we; I can still be a kid!

Sunday night as I laid with Bobby he asked me an interesting question about his party. He said "Dad, is Garrett invited to my party?" (Bobby and Garrett had an argument earlier in the day) I said "certainly; Garrett is 4 and lives 2 houses down he road from us; he is our neighbor", Bobby replied "well I don't want him to come." I told my son that God commands us to love our neighbors and much to my surprise Bobby said " But dad, Garret does not live next door to us!" Then I thought hmmm … who is our neighbor?

The best example I can find in the bible is in John 13 verses 1-17. Take time to read this passage. This is where Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. This is a living parable, an object lesson in serving, loving others and humility.

John 13:2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

John 13:5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him

Notice what is happening. Jesus knows that Judas is going to betray him, yet Jesus still serves Judas. Still shows His love toward Judas.

Isn't easier to serve those we love? Its easy for me to serve my kids. Hard part is serving those that we are not so close to. Ask yourself today, "How can I serve the people around me?" "How can I serve my employees or my subordinates?" How about your students or lower classmates? How about the person you work with who really grates on your nerves? What can you do today to serve that person? I am talking about service the way Jesus gives it. He served with no expectation of a reward in return for the service. Don't serve someone, then say "Hey -- look what I did for you! They will notice. Do your service with love and humility. Jesus did it.

"Man's humility does not begin with the giving of service; it begins with the readiness to receive it. For there can be much pride and condescension in our giving of service." (Temple)

By the way … Garret came to the party. They had a blast. : )

Dear Lord, thank You for teaching us to love our neighbors and for teaching us that everyone is our neighbor. Lord thank You for showing us through Your life on earth how to do life right. Help us be servant leaders. Help us to serve all those around us. Lord, thank You mostly for the ultimate service, the greatest sacrifice of all, Your Son Jesus Who served us on the cross. In HIS name we pray, Amen.