“Won’t You be my Neighbor: Change the World”

Week #5: Change the World!
-Good neighboring has always been God’s plan for the redemption of the world
-We gain when we give… its always for us to be through us.
-We’re blessed to be a blessing
-We’re comforted to be a comfort
-We’re friends of God to be friends to others.
“Won’t you be my neighbor? Its is a invitation to help somebody know that are loved and capable of loving.” ~ Fred Rogers
Further Conversation
1. What does your neighborhood design look like? How does its design either help or hinder getting to know others?
2. Studies show an increase loneliness & depression. How does God’s plan of redemption (good neighboring) cure this pain?
3. Read Proverbs 11:25. “We gain when we give.” How have you experienced this truth?
4. Read Genesis 12:1-3 How are you blessed? How can you use this blessing to be a blessing to others?
5. Read 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 How have you been comforted? How can you use this experience to comfort others?
6. Read John 15:12-14 How has God been your friend? How can you intentionally be a friend to others?
7. What could this community look like if we took our neighboring seriously? Who will you invite to be your neighbor this week?
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
Monday – Proverbs 11:24-26
The Jordan River feeds two large lakes in Israel: The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is teaming with life and is an oasis in a relatively arid environment. The Dead Sea earns its name with no life either within or on its shores. How can the same river feed two seas that are so different? The Jordan River flows in and out of the Sea of Galilee whereas it only flows into the Dead Sea. And ironically, even though no water flows out of the Dead Sea, it is drying up. These two lakes are a perfect analogy to these proverbs. We only know life when what comes to us as a blessing is shared to bless others. We gain when we give. How have you been blessed? How are you blessing others?
Pray: Heavenly Father, you blessed me not just so I may know your goodness but so that I can share it with others. Thank you!
Tuesday – Genesis 12:1-3
God made an extraordinary promise to Abram. Abram would father an entire nation. And this would be God’s people, a special nation with a special purpose. Yes, they would know blessings. But more importantly, they would be a blessing to the rest of the world. The world would come to know God through Israel. Abram, and all Israel, is blessed to be a blessing. God’s love flows in them, through them, and out of them to others. This is how God blesses! How has God blessed you? How are you using it to bless others and show them the love of God?
Pray: Holy LORD, as you called and promised Abram, you call and promise me, you bless me to be a blessing. I will be a blessing!
Wednesday – Matthew 5:13-16
The power went out at our home recently. It was late and night and I could not see a thing. Even worse, I couldn’t remember where I had placed the lantern. I stumbled around the darkness until I found the light. Likewise, our world is dark and people stumble around looking for love, hope, and light. Jesus-followers must live brightly and share their light and life freely. We have a opportunity today to be the light for others. Don’t hide but bless.
Pray: LORD Jesus, your light and life resides within me. May I live boldly and brightly, showing the world the way to you!
Thursday – Jeremiah 29:4-14
Many of us know and cherish verse 11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and hope.” We miss the blessing of this promise when we fail to read the context. The Jews are heading into exile, captured and removed from their home as God’s punishment for their disobedience. God is sending them to time-out…seventy years of time-out. But get this, God’s command is that in exile they should be a blessing to others. Even in punishment, God wants to bless so that they can be a blessing. Are you blessing your neighbors? Do we pray for our neighbors good? When we choose to bless our neighbors, we gain a better appreciation of the future good plans God has for us.
Pray: Holy Spirit, remind me to be a blessing to my neighbors, to love and serve them, to benefit them, that they might see you!
Friday – John 15:12-14
I didn’t have a lot of friends in elementary school. I got into a lot of fights. My teachers told my family that I wouldn’t amount to much and they should get used to it. Yep, true story. Because people didn’t think much of me, I didn’t think much of myself. Many people know the pain of loneliness and rejection. Our world can be cruel. Yet into the pain of this world, Jesus comes not to tell us how bad we are but to be our friend. Jesus knows me and wants me to be with him. And Jesus wants me to go make friends with others. Jesus not only thinks I make a good friend, he thinks I can be a good friend maker. I’m loved by Jesus and he thinks I have potential! Wow! Thats not the message the world shares. It is the message the God has for us, a message we need to share.
Pray: Loving Jesus, you call me your friend. I matter to you! Thank you! I will go make friends and share this love and hope.
Saturday – Matthew 28:18-20
Go make disciples. Thats a challenging and intimidating command. What if they have questions? What if I struggle? May you remember this week that Jesus’ command isn’t to answer questions but make friends. God invite someone to come with you to church. Make a friend and show them Jesus!
Pray: Almighty God, may my life’s mission be to proclaim the Good News and lead others to their next step with Jesus.