The idea of loving your neighbor was on God’s heart from the beginning. He made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:3: “I will bless you so that you can be a blessing to the world.” Abraham was blessed so that hecould be a blessing. Abraham modeled the way in which we should treat our neighbors. He dropped everything to go to his neighbors’ rescue (Genesis 13:1). And he was careful not to accept reward or acclaim. Those were not his motives - he helped his neighbors out of respect for God’s call to be a blessing. And as a result he became one of the richest people who ever lived. Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 9:7: If you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. But if you sow abundantly, you reap abundantly. It’s often called the law of reciprocity. Whatever you give away will come back to you - whether that is love, mercy, kindness, money, or grace. It’s a law of the universe. And this is especially true with God’s rich gift of his grace and mercy. He gives it to us abundantly through Jesus so that you can give it away. Love isn’t love until it’s given away - to your neighbors - God’s children, his most prized possession. All people are your neighbors. There are hurting people who live next door to you, or in your neighborhood, or across town. They are people for whom you can care with a helping hand, an encouraging word, a cooked meal, a face-to-face prayer. They are people Jesus died for. See them as such! Bless your neighbors. When you do, God is honored.
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