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Loving your neighbor as yourself

1) Do we have a neighbor that we are hoping will move out sometime soon?
2) The Bible is a book that quite often speaks about “neighbors.”
3) In the Old Testament “neighbor” is usually a fellow Hebrew.
4) In the New Testament “neighbor” is much broader – anyone who has a need.
5) Jesus said a little something about “neighbors” in Mk. 12:31.
6) Let’s see what this verse says – READ Mk. 12:28-31.
a) Jesus said we are to love our neighbors and love them as ourselves.
b) If there is a forgotten command in the Bible, this is probably it.
7) There is a lot more information about “neighbor” than I expected to find.
8) More than 100 times in the Bible we find information about our neighbors.
a) Ex. 20:16 says – READ
b) Since we are to “love our neighbor” (Mk. 12:31), lying about them cannot be right.
9) Verse 17 goes even further– READ
a) READ Ex. 21:14.
b) The Hebrews had to be kind to their neighbors.
c) State Farm Insurance used to have a little jingle about being a “good neighbor.”
d) Lev. 19:18 prohibited the people of Israel from having a “grudge” against the people of Israel.
e) The latter part of this verse says “love thy neighbor as thyself.”
f) Bearing a grudge is not in harmony with loving neighbors as ourselves.
g) In a group of this size it is very likely that at least some have a grudge against a neighbor.
h) This verse says the destruction comes from the “mouth.”
10) If we are a Christian, we want our words to neighbors to be “seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:6).
11) We want to do this because of our next reference, Prov. 12:26.
a) The wise man said the “Righteous is a guide to his neighbor.”
b) The “righteous” can often be a spiritual guide to others by being a good neighbor.
12) Our next passage is a very sad verse.
13) Prov. 14:20 says – READ
a) The wise man said the “poor is hated by his neighbors.”
b) Jesus was a friend to the social outcasts of His day and time.
c) This should also be true for us.
d) Prov. 14:21 – READ
14) Some despise a neighbor.
15) Others go even further – they “devise evil” against neighbors (Zech. 8:17).
16) God said “do not do this.” This is also not loving our neighbor instead of ourselves.
17) Instead of trying to hurt neighbors, we need to see how we can help them.
18) Neighbors are not always good neighbors, no matter what we do.
19) In Rom. 12:20 Paul said we are to “heap coals of fire on people” by doing good to them.
20) This is God’s strategy for dealing with difficult neighbors.
21) Our neighbors should see that we are Christians.
22) After we have set a good example, we should try to teach them.

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