Neighbors! Love ’em or hate ’em

“What kind of neighbors do you have?”  Ask that question and then just listen awhile…

People have a love – hate relationship with their neighbors… There are good neighbors – and there are bad ones. 

As a Christian – a Christ follower, how do you feel about your “neighbors?”  Better yet, how do they feel about you?  Being a “neighbor” is a big deal in the teaching of Jesus! (You should read about it – it’s the topic of one of his greatest parables – Luke 10:25-37)  But that’s not what prompted this “coffee with the Lord” – a passage from 1 Peter 2:11-20 did…

Our “influence” as “neighbors” matter – even when they’re obnoxious – even (no especially) when they are unbelievers – even when they persecute Christians!

Here is what the Bible says…

“Beloved, I urge you … keep your conduct among the Gentiles [the “unconverted” – those who are NOT believers] honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation… Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. [In other words be good citizens!]  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. [Listen, your influence matters!]  Live as people who are free, but never use your freedom as a cover-up for evil, instead live as servants of God.  Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.  Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.” (From 1 Peter 2:11-20)

The challenge?  Being a good, godly “neighbor” in your neighborhood, your community, your region, and your nation!  Oh, the potential (even when “persecuted”) of influencing someone positively for the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel!  I want to be that kind of neighbor!

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