Pastor Steve Williams : Neighboring My Neighbor

Shockwaves · 46:07 · Recorded May 12, 2019

Neighboring My Neighbor

Today’s main Bible text – Luke 10:25-37 (p.921)

Locating myself in Jesus’ parable

Sufferers: “What should be mine is gone.”

Takers: “What’s yours is mine & I’ll take it.”

Keepers: “What’s mine is mine & I’ll keep it.”

Givers: “What’s mine is God’s, so I’ll share it.”

Zechariah 7:9-10 (NIV) “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’”

Deuteronomy 10:17-20 (NIV) For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Fear the LORD your God and serve him.

Competing social justice worldviews

Discerning between Moses or Marx?

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15 (CSB) Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule…the whole earth, and the creatures…on the earth.” So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multi-ply, fill the earth, and subdue it.”…The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.

Biblical values seen: Hard work, thriftiness, discipline, delayed gratification, responsibility, generosity, trustworthiness, desire for progress, stewardship of creation.

The Biblical “safety net” system of work, savings, family & community compassion.

See 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 5:3-8; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 10-13

Leviticus 23:22 (CSB) “When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the resident alien; I am the LORD your God.”

Putting compassion into action

1. Cross over the divide with empathy.

1 John 3:16-17 (ESV) By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

2. Become God’s healing hands.

Micah 6:8 (NIV) He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

See Jesus’ words about this in Matthew 25:31-46

3. Give a sacrifice of yourself.

Proverbs 19:17 (NLT) If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD—and he will repay you!

4. Invest in their full recovery.

Galatians 6:2-5 (CSB) Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load.

Remember that love is always something you do!

PLEASE NOTE: The subjects dealt with in this series are eliciting strong emotions that are easily exploited today. It’s VERY likely there are persons in your group who don’t look at these exactly like you do. Begin your discussion time with prayer, claiming Colossians 3:15.

  • How has this Shockwaves series had an impact on you thus far or made a difference for you?

  • Read the story of the Good Samaritan again found in Luke10:25-37. Who has been a “Good Samaritan” in your life? Why do you think Jesus’ questioner felt the need to “justify himself”?

  • What do you find makes you inclined to “take a pass” in helping someone in need? What is it that makes you willing to “cross the divide” to help someone with a need?

  • Pastor Steve took time to speak lots of ideas underlying much of our “social justice” concerns and differences in this message – which of these do you sense God wanting you to give more thought and attention to? Which do you feel the need to advocate for in your interactions with others?

  • How does this message impact your view of the place work holds in human life? Read Ecclesiastes 2:24-25. How often do you see your work as a gift from God and not just a drudgery? What seems to make the difference between these for you?

  • How do you sense God is calling you to “neighbor your neighbor” for him? How can your group pray for or hold you accountable or encourage you with this?

  • Elementary Parents, this week we continued our series on honesty. Ask kids who told a lie. (Jacob) Who did he lie to? (His father) Jacob’s lie cost his brother his inheritance and his father’s blessing. Because of Jacob’s dishonesty, he had to run for his life. It would be twenty years before he would see his family again. Our bottom line this week is lying always hurts someone.

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