To Be A Neighbor

My husband with sweet Gladyss. 
Matthew 25:40 says “He will reply, ‘Truly Itell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sistersof mine, you did for me.’ “ What this is saying, is what ever Ido for others, I am doing for Him. If I chose to ignore the need aroundus, if I choose to ignore the pain, the sadness, the sick and starvingchildren, the orphans and widows, if I choose to ignorethem… Ultimately, I am choosing to ignore Jesus. If I see someone hungryor naked, and I don’t do something to help, I am turning away Jesus. In James2, verse 15-17, its says “Suppose a brother or a sister is withoutclothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Goin peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs,what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, ifit is not accompanied by action, is dead.” God requires us to befollowers with faith AND action.
I do not claim to have it right or to have all the answers,and I certainly don’t claim to live this life fully the way God intended. Ihave a long way to go. I am growing everyday. But I stumble frequently, slip upfrom time to time. I am a sinner, but I am reaching out for Jesus, and He willtake my hand. I don’t consider myself an expert on all this, no where near, butI’ve got my eyes on Him, my eyes are on the goal, and he is calling all of us.He is calling us into faith and to action. We must stand up and move forward toexpand the kingdom of God, to give Him His glory, and to live a life of serviceand submission to our Father! He calls each of us to carry our cross, to laydown our lives, to put away our own human desires, and pick up the desires ofJesus. To walk down that path He is directing us in.
I struggle with this daily, and I think a lot of ussometimes focus too much on the “american dream,” with materialism,entertainment, pleasure, self indulgence, money, looks and glamour, etc. Oureyes need to be set on Jesus, not things of this world. When we become a loverand follower of Jesus Christ, there is a change in our hearts, and we begin tosee how Jesus sees, how He saw when He was walking on this earth. Its notadequate to just tell someone, “Good luck, it’ll all be fine”, We arecalled to take action. To show LOVE. To be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ!He is beckoning us to move. He wants to love in and through YOU. 
From Romans 12, we can see some of the many gifts we mayhave and how we can serve. 6We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, thenprophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it isserving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage,then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is tolead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Matthew 22 37-40: “Love the Lord your God with allyour heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the firstand greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor asyourself.” Love your neighbor as yourself. If I don’t want myselfstarving, then I should not want my neighbor starving. I want to be clothed,fed, warm, healthy, loved, etc., then I also should want my neighbors toclothed, fed, warm, healthy, and loved.  Jesus said that whatever you dofor the least of these, you have done for Him. If you read Luke 10, verses25-37 about the good Samaritan, one of the experts in the law asks Jesuswho exactly is considered his neighbor. To answer this man’s question, Jesustells the story of the good Samaritan. In the story, a man is beaten androbbed, and left half dead on the side of the road. A priest and a levitepassed by, seeing the man, and continued to walk on the other side of the road.But then a Samaritan man approaches the almost lifeless body, he stops withsympathy and compassion. The Samaritan cleans and bandages the beaten man,provides for him a place to stay while he is cared for. Jesus then asks theexpert in law which man was like a neighbor to the beaten man. The answer isthe Samaritan. Jesus is saying that a neighbor is anyone that needs mercy,compassion, or relief from suffering. A neighbor can be anyone that youcome across. You are a neighbor when you care for others and displaymercy. Jesus challenges us to “Go and do likewise.”
If every Christian in the world looked like me, or lookedlike you, what would this world look like? Would anyone be bold enough tobe Sunday school teachers, to be preachers, or to just stand up agive a testimony or are we too scared, to shy, or a little stubborn sometimes. Afraid of what people will think, scaredyou’ll say something wrong? If all Christians looked like you or me, wouldanyone be bold enough to tell their friends, their brothers and sisters, theirDad, about the love of Jesus Christ, do we love Him enough, do we love themenough, to tell them, to save them, to introduce them to the Savior and Lord ofall creation. If every Christian looked like me or you, would there be anymissionaries, would the Good News eventually be forgotten because no one wouldshare it or take it to the nations. Would children grow up, never knowing thename of Jesus, never feeling His embrace? Jesus lives on this earth in andthrough us. We are called into action, to be a light in this world, to be aneighbor, for Jesus to use us so that He can be a father to the fatherless,using our arms to embrace, our hands to care. What would this world look like?Would there be love and generosity or would we just be content with ourcomforts, selfishly obsessed with the things of the world? 
We are made to be brave, courageous, noble. And I can’t doit on my own. You can’t do it on your own. We can’t do it alone. That is why Heis with us, He is in us, He will give us the words to say, He will give us thestrength to stand tall, the strength to keep going, and to pick eachother up. He is our rock, our solid ground. We are meant to lay down our livesfor the sake of Jesus, and lay down our lives for the brethren. To carryour cross. Every child, is a child of the King. Every child, He calls his own.God is present with us through the Holy Spirit living within us. He uses us! WEare His vessels. When His children are alone and abandoned, He uses YOUand ME to comfort them, to go to them, to take care of them, and to show themthe love of the Father. He lives in us, and our hands are the Fathers hands,and He will use us to pick that child up. Defend the poor and the fatherless,Psalm 82:3. And God is a father to the fatherless through us! And if we’re notdoing it, who is? We are all called. Do we care the way Jesus cares? Are wewilling to fight for what is His? Are we willing to be an advocate?
I trip and stumble sometimes. But I’m getting better atkeeping my eyes on the goal, my eyes are on Him. Let us take off running in Hiswill, down the path that he has laid out before us, and never look back!
Please watch this video. “Depraved Indifference”-Eric Ludy

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