Click here to listen to the podcast of this message.
Mr. Rogers was the nicest guy of all time. Seriously, Has there been anyone any nicer? He got on television and loved on people of all races, abilities, and backgrounds.
Everyone was equal in his neighborhood.
He would always ask, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
What does it mean to be a neighbor?
Who is your neighbor?
Jesus said in Matthew 22 that the whole Bible is boiled down to two things:
Matthew 22:37 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (ESV)
After hearing this thought, a man in Luke 10 asked, “Who is my neighbor?”
The scripture says that he was trying to justify himself.
Luke 10:29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (ESV)
The term that Jesus used here was not an ambiguous or hype spiritual word. It simply meant: those in close proximity. Those who Jesus has put in your path.
Today, we will deal with the FEAR FACTOR of loving our neighbor…
Most people don’t like unexpected knocks at the door. Why? Unwanted solicitation. Unwanted sales calls. Unwanted evangelism knocks. Therefore, when we go to meet our neighbors, there is a negative prejudice before we even knock on the door.
Being nice or giving something for free can seem like a scam.
It’s easy to be suspicious of people we do not know because of the news. They might have ebola.
If we are going to love our neighbors, we must have the courage to wrestle with our fear.
Ask God to lead as you engage your neighborhood!
This clip from The Burbs completely drives this point home. Check it out! (not sure what kind of commercial will show before the clip)