“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35, NASB
Late one evening two weeks ago, a family in my subdivision awoke to flames engulfing their home. The fire had begun outside and taken over the house so there were only flames by the time it reached their rooms, no smoke to set off the alarms. The family made it out of the house but the entire house was lost. Thankfully, the neighbors’ houses were saved by firefighters, but one family lost everything. Before the sun came up, our neighborhood had sprung into action; our neighborhood Facebook page was loaded with offers to help: “I have a fenced-in yard for your dog.” “What size clothes do your boys wear?” “I can clear out my garage for any belongings that you find and need to store.” “I have two guest rooms; you can stay with us as long as you need.” The offers flooded in, a go-fund-me page was set up and donations flowed in, boxes were set on their neighbor’s front porch across the street for donations; gift cards, clothes, toys, school supplies, and other gifts overflowed the porch. I wept; overwhelmed by the generosity of our neighborhood and the speed of their response to the family in need. Knowing it is more blessed to give than to receive… my neighborhood is blessed.
Concern carried over through the week and generous people are still giving. I thank Jesus for these neighbors and asked Him to bless their giving. Despite some of the nonsense that circulates on our Facebook page; when tragedy strikes we love our neighbors. I have seen it on a smaller scale; lost pets found, warning of dangerous items found in our park, traffic alerts, and lemonade stand sightings that send thirsty neighbors out in droves to get a cup from a smiling group of kids.
As we continue to move in the love of Jesus and expand our mission field; I will occasionally return to the roots of our neighborhood. Your neighborhood is where your family lives, plays, sleeps, and makes friends; it is the center of your mission field map. You are surrounded by people who do not know Jesus, by people who are experiencing trials and pain, people who have like interests such as your neighborhood schools and hopefully you are surrounded by lots of neighbors who worship at many different churches in your community. God has placed you in a community; love your neighbors, serve Him and help bring unity to the body of Christ. Neighbors who care about their community can prompt their churches to work in unity to pray, meet needs and share the gospel together. Churches should not be competing for members; their members should be completing the great commission with members of other churches. We are one body scattered in all different zip codes to get the job done.
Have you been prayer walking your community with your pray4everyhome app? Have you met new neighbors, invited them over, or chatted with other parents at the bus stop? Do you have a way to communicate as a neighborhood? Do you have a community Facebook page or email group? If there was a tragedy in your neighborhood how would you know? How would you react? Have you connected with your neighborhood schools or talked with some other parents about caring for a campus? Share your stories or ideas with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I challenge you to be blessed; to give to a “neighbor” in need and bless your zip code with your prayer-care-share lifestyle by the end of the year 2020.
Love is a verb…let’s get moving!
For more ideas on loving your neighbors, visit our Coaching Corner at LOVE2020.com.