Just Imagine!

How things have changed

It has been suggested that television and air conditioning have contributed to isolating us from our neighbors. The old custom of sitting on the front porch on a warm summer evening and interacting with the neighborhood is long gone. Whether or not TV and A/C are to blame, it must be admitted: People don’t “neighbor” much anymore.

Our Constitution guarantees the rights and freedoms of the individual. Properly exercised, this is good. But is it possible that as a nation we have stressed rights to the neglect of responsibility, and individuality to the detriment of community?

Making a positive difference

Many of our fellow citizens do have a strong sense of community and work hard for the betterment of others. The quality of life in our communities is definitely higher because of their dedicated efforts.

So much needs to be done. Whether in improving race relations, cleaning up blighted areas, attracting new businesses, volunteering in worthy causes, or whatever the need, let’s get involved in doing something for our city.

Having the greatest impact for good

But what is the absolute best thing we can do for our community? Isn’t it for each of us as individuals to live in harmony with the will of God—and to help others do the same by sharing the gospel with them?

Just imagine if everyone in our town truly lived by the teachings of Christ: Would there be any rape, robbery, or assault—at least by our own citizenry? Would we lie to one another or gossip about each other?

Would we have the substance abuse problems we do now? Would husbands and wives cheat on each other? Would children be abused or neglected?

Positively, devotion to Christ means obeying the law of the land (Romans 13:1-7). It means seeking opportunities to serve (Titus 3:1, 8, 14). It means giving instead of always receiving (Acts 20:35). It means shining the light of Christ in a dark, dark world (Philippians 2:15).

Christians who really live by the Book make the best citizens!

How we respond

Sad to say, many will not choose to live for Christ (Matthew 7:13-14), but what’s to stop any of us from resolving that regardless of what others may do, we will give our complete allegiance to the One who died that we might live?

high road, low road-tagged

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Two Poles of the 2nd Commandment

It was Jesus Himself who identified loving God and loving neighbor as the first and second commandments (Matthew 22:36-40). It’s worth noting that the second commandment, like a magnet, has both a positive and a negative pole.

The negative pole:

“For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:9-10).

The positive pole:

Referring to the second commandment, a lawyer asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered his question by telling the story of the Samaritan who met the needs of the wounded traveler—providing first aid, transportation, and lodging.

He then asked the lawyer which of the key players in the story had “proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands.” The lawyer admitted, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Jesus replied, “Go and do the same” (Luke 10:25-37).

Both/And

So if we love our neighbor as ourselves there are certain things we will not do to our neighbor—to harm him (Galatians 5:14-15; James 2:8-9).  And there are things we will do for our neighbor—to help him (Galatians 5:13-14).

Let’s see how good a neighbor we can be this week!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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