Which of these three in your opinion was neighbor to the robber’s victim?
I was at an intercessary prayer meeting when the first time the question came up. Here I was praying for needs of others, the church, the community, you know all the typical prayer meeting stuff.
The Holy Spirit cut me short in my prayer and said, “You do it. You bless so and so, you make the community better, quieter place to live, you encourage the church leaders.” It took a while for me to get up from that.
First of all, I saw all these people as victims. For whatever reason they were victims. The neighborhood I lived in, victims were suckers. It takes street sense to avoid the criminal, obvisously they didn’t have any.
I know that sounds harsh but we do that to people in church. If they haven’t received their healing then they must not have enough faith. If they aren’t experiencing financial blessing then they must not be giving. If they were hurt by a sister’s comments then they haven’t died to self completely.
We get impatient with the victims in the church and piously pray for them all the while looking down on them.
I’m not saying prayer meetings are not important, everything starts in prayer. I’m saying they aren’t the last stop of the church, it’s the first step.
The next time I’m asked this question is at a Bible Study/Discipleship group. I was sitting in this group, listening and discussing spirtual growth and its importance. We even looked down on the people that didn’t attend, after all, they were probably not growing in the Lord like we were.
The Holy Spirit asked, “Which one of you is the neighbor?” I looked around the group and knew it wasn’t me. I had no concern whatsoever for the lost. He even asked “when was the last time you prayed for the lost on your own?” These meetings can be real havens for people who fear evangelism.
Here I was talking about being a good neighbor, loving God and maturing in the Lord, but I wasn’t doing anything. I hadn’t led anyone to the Lord, I hadn’t even consciously planted a seed or was determine to plow any ground. I had a silly idea that they would come to me because I was obviously lifting up Jesus in my own life.
That very moment I realized my spiritual growth was a delusion.
I wasn’t hearing the heartbeat of God that loved the world so much He gave His only Son. I wasn’t hearing the heartbeat of Jesus that left heaven and divine privilege to hang out in my neighborhood.
This religious leader testing Jesus was looking for a loophole and asks “What is a neighbor?”
That’s what I was doing at this Bible Study/Discipleship meeting. I was using it as a loophole. Instead of going out and taking that group with me, I was hiding in it, thinking I was becoming mature in the Lord. It’s deceptive to sit in all these Bible studies saying we are growing in the Lord and never winning the lost.
I have learned that spiritual growth and soul winning go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. You won’t grow spiritually if your not reaching out, and you won’t win them if you don’t grow spiritually. Evangelism and discipleship cannot be seperated.
Satan has robbed and left dying a lot of people, and if we aren’t careful even our good bible studies is just a way to avoid them.
I was quicly booted out of the group when I started suggesting outreach, especially on their night. I was once scolded because I didn’t go to a Church service because I was helping a single mom move. I was going to backslide if I didn’t go to their group and grow.
I discovered if I want to grow spiritually I have to go where Jesus is, and He hangs out with the lost, the sick, the broken, and the underdogs.
I see more miracles, more healing, and more salvations when I’m being the neighbor God created me to be.
Who knows one day I will be the victim and need Jesus with skin on at my door.
Q4U: What are some ways we can get to know our neighbors?