Jesus told us in Mark 12 that we should “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (and) ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” That is easy to say, but not always seemingly easy to do. Sometimes we really just want to pull into the garage, close the door, go inside and shut out the world. But when we sit down and read God’s Word, we are constantly reminded that we need to be in the world.
But how? How do we love our neighbor? Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) published a blog called “3 Practical Ways to Live on Mission in Your Neighborhood”. They are very simple and this summer we can all strive to work towards these 3 steps.
Meet Your Neighbors:
- You may already know your neighbors, if so, you are ahead of the game. But take a few moments to write their names down on a piece of paper and write down anything you know about them. Do they have children, hobbies, pets, etc. Put these down on paper so you can better pray for them. If you don’t know your neighbors, take a chance and ring their doorbell. Introduce yourself and become a “friendly neighbor”.
Serve Your Neighbors:
- Mark 10:45 says “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve…” So if we are called to serve, how can you serve your neighbors? Be creative, be spontaneous, be willing. Perhaps that young mother with a newborn would be extremely blessed if you bring her a meal that she doesn’t have to prepare. Maybe the older couple next door can’t really keep their yard mowed. What if you were to just deliver some homemade cookies…with no catch, just cookies. Find some ways to serve them and allow them to know that they are cared for.
Pray For Your Neighbors:
- Remember that list you made in step one, now put it to use as you pray specifically for your neighbors. That neighbor that always tends to annoy you when he mows his yard at 7 AM on Saturday mornings? When you pray for him, you may find that annoyance starts to fade. The couple who stands in their driveway and yells at each other before driving away? As you pray for them to have a love and respect for each other you may find your heart tendered towards them. You may even get an opportunity to share with them that you are praying for them and ask what you could pray for. You may find they are excited and very interested to know more about why you are praying for them.
Take some time this summer to get to know, serve and pray for your neighbors. You may just have the best mission trip of your life, standing in your own driveway.