Day 4

 How to Love Your Neighbor 

Garage door openers are a wonderful convenience, aren’t they? Coming home after a long day at work, you can just drive right in, close the door, and not see another person before reaching the comfort of your home.

But that convenience can keep Christians from following one of the most basic commands in the Bible: "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right" (James 2:8 NIV).

Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s such a simple command, yet most people don’t even know their neighbors—and you can’t love somebody you don’t know.

Did you know that God enjoys watching the people he created to have fellowship with each other? In Zechariah 3:10, he says, "Each of you will invite your neighbor to come and enjoy peace and security, surrounded by your vineyards and fig trees" (GNT).

You probably don't have vineyards in your backyard, but you might have a tree and benches in your apartment’s common area. Or if you live in the suburbs, you might have a flower garden, a fire pit, or just a patch of grass. The point isn’t about having a pretty place to offer. It’s about making the choice to be friendly and connect more with your neighbors.

Another way to show love to your neighbors is by serving them. Offer to mow someone’s lawn, wash their car, or pick up something they may need at the grocery store. Maybe someone has questions about their kids’ schooling, their taxes, or a car problem that you are uniquely gifted to answer. And food always opens doors. Make a meal for someone or drop off donuts to a family.

Most importantly, there’s one way you can serve your neighbors that will meet their greatest need: Share with them about how much God loves them and how Jesus Christ died to save them—how their past can be forgiven, they can have a purpose for living, and they can have a home in heaven. 

There’s no better way to show love to your neighbor than to introduce them to Jesus. Make the most of every opportunity to serve the people around you in love so they can learn about the greatest love they’ll ever know.

Talk It Over

  • Do you reach out to your neighbors? If not, what is one way you can start today? 
  • Have you looked at past years as something to “just get through”? How could your mindset change if you instead focus on the kingdom of God and making friends for eternity?
  • What are some other ways you can be friendly with your neighbors that may be unique to your situation?

This devotional © 201 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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