GROWING THE GOOD NEIGHBOR SEED
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”
And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:25-37 New King James Version).
Years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to preach to an amazing group of women. Before the day arrived, the Lord had shown me a picture of how He wanted the room arranged and where He wanted the women to sit. He was very specific about the activity we were going to do, and why we were doing it this certain way. I cannot remember what exactly the word I preached was, but the message was based on the story of the Good Samaritan and how to be a good neighbor. It was geared toward reaching out and being there for someone else, it wasn’t very long. The tables were arranged in two rows, with the same number of chairs. Each woman was encouraged to sit at the table with her friends, with an equal number of women at each table (or as near as we had). At each place was a small flowerpot filled with soil, and each table had a packet of seeds next to the centerpiece.
The women wondered about the little flowerpots, so as we progressed through the message, I explained they would be planting a seed in their pot. After the women planted their seeds, the women exchanged their flowerpot with the women at the table next to them whose chair was in the same place as theirs. The idea was to trade flowerpots with a woman they may not have known very well. Then, we shared prayer requests and prayed for each other. Each woman left with someone else’s plant and as they took care of it, they would be reminded to pray for the woman.
God is pretty adamant we love our neighbors. Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” The parable of the Good Samaritan is a wonderful illustration of this love towards others.
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this blessing of a brand new day! This is the day You have made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. May we recognize opportunities where we may be good neighbors and bless those who need it, whether we bless with word, deed, or prayer, may we be poured out upon Your people. May we be willing to look after someone else, may we be willing to care for others, may be reach out and do what may not come naturally to us. Father, Your grace is sufficient for all things, may we grow in grace and love towards others, and may we never hesitate to share You. We give You all glory and honor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: It is exhilarating to share the love of Christ with others, keep your eyes open for openings to love on people!
Additional Scriptures: See Passage