Art of Neighboring - Part 2 [Notes]

Love God, love others… they’re the two most important things Jesus commands us to do. But what does it look like to love a neighbor? What if loving our neighbor involves knowing, serving and loving our actual neighbors… the people who live right outside our door.
Today's Takeaway // Ask God to help you overcome any obstacle that’s keeping you from loving your actual neighbors.
“Hi-di-ho, neighbor”
Image credit: https://www.themoviedb.org/t/p/original/fvc2N9l1FuiP3v4IInMix9AHVke.jpg
  • “Hola Tanneritos”
Image credit: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092359/mediaviewer/rm3505019392/?ref_=tt_ov_i
“Did I do that?”
Image credit: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096579/mediaviewer/rm439031040/?ref_=tt_ov_i
The Power of Knowing Your Neighbors
  • 1. Boosted wellbeing 
  • 2. Happier aging
  • 3. Safer streets 
  • 4. Lives saved 
Erica Pandy – www.axios.com
The Power of Knowing Your Neighbors 
  • 57% of Americans say they know only some or none of their neighbors. That share climbs up to 72% among 30 to 49-year-olds and 78% among 18 to 29-year-olds. 
  • 58% say they know their neighbors but don't spend time chatting or hanging out with them.
  • As a result, most of the people living around us are strangers.                         
Erica Pandy – www.axios.com
Matthew 22:34-40 (HCSB)
  • When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him: “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”
  • He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important  command. 
  • The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” 
Loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself includes your actual neighbors.
Ask God to help you overcome any obstacle that’s keeping you from loving your actual neighbors.
  1. Time – already busy
You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
– James 4:14 (HCSB)
  • The healthiest person who ever lived was Jesus. He got a lot done, but when we read about his life, the word hurried never comes to mind. 
  • Jesus came to offer us a different way of living. He said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” – John 10:10
  • He wasn’t talking about “full” in the sense of having a packed schedule. He meant it in the sense of abundance. In other words, a good, meaningful life.
The Art of Neighboring, page 46
Ask God to help you overcome any obstacle that’s keeping you from loving your actual neighbors.
  1. Time – already busy
  2. Total – too many or too few
Matthew 28:16-20 (HCSB)
  • The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped,  but some doubted. 
  • Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  
  • Go, therefore, and make disciples  of  all nations,  baptizing  them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 
Ask God to help you overcome any obstacle that’s keeping you from loving your actual neighbors.
  1. Time – already busy
  2. Total – too many or too few
  3. Tried – didn’t work out
Galatians 6:9-10 (HCSB)
  • So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 
  • Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work  for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household  of faith. 
Ask God to help you overcome any obstacle that’s keeping you from loving your actual neighbors.
  1. Time – already busy
  2. Total – too many or too few
  3. Tried – didn’t work out
  4. Timid – not sure how it will go
  • We’re not recommending that you simply dismiss all of your fears and blindly jump into every one of your neighbors’ lives. After all, at times our fears are valid and can save us from dangerous or unhealthy situations. 
  • On the other hand, our fears are often unwarranted and may be obstacles to obeying the Great Commandment. 
  • So if we’re going to neighbor well, we must have the courage to wrestle with our fears.
The Art of Neighboring, page 46
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
– 2 Timothy 1:7 (HCSB)
Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
– Joshua 1:9 (HCSB)
Ask God to help you overcome any obstacle that’s keeping you from loving your actual neighbors.
  1. Time – already busy
  2. Total – too many or too few
  3. Tried – didn’t work out
  4. Timid – not sure how it will go
  5. Tension – strained or broken relationship
Romans 12:9-18 (HCSB)
  • Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. 
  • Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. 
  • Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. 
  • Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 
  • Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.
Ask God to help you overcome any obstacle that’s keeping you from loving your actual neighbors.
Getting started 
  • Spend time outside, take a walk
  • Be friendly, smile, wave, say hello  
  • Maintain your property 
  • Look out for their property
  • Abide by community rules (if applicable)
Know and Serve
  • Learn, remember, and greet neighbors by name
  • Welcome new neighbors – assist with move in, cookies or pie
  • Share your phone number, connect on social media 
  • Participate in neighborhood/area functions, social media groups
  • Share what you have – garden veggies, eggs, pool, tools, skills
  • Take initiative to meet needs – grass, leaves, snow, rides, babysitting
Love
  • Invite a neighbor over for dessert/coffee or dinner
  • Host an easy neighborhood gathering – bonfire/s’mores, water fun
  • Check-in via phone or text during cold months 
  • Celebrate the good and show up in the hard
  • Ask neighbors for help when you need it
  • Pray for them and be sensitive to their faith journey 

Discussion Questions //

1. From the past or present, if you had a good neighbor, share who they are and what made them a good neighbor.
2. Read and discuss each of the obstacles to neighboring that Pastor Josh unpacked in the message. You can also read the corresponding passages.
  • Time – already busy – James 4:14, John 10:10
  • Total – too many or too few – Matthew 28:16-20 
  • Tried – didn’t work out – Galatians 6:9-10
  • Timid – not sure how it will go – 2 Timothy 1:7, Joshua 1:9
  • Tension – strained or broken relationship – Romans 12:9-18
3. Which obstacle (or another one not mentioned) do you need God to help you overcome so that you can more fully obey Jesus’ Great Commandment?
4. Of these practical ideas mentioned, discuss one or two things that you would like to do in the coming days, weeks, and months.
Getting started
  • Spend time outside, take a walk
  • Be friendly, smile, wave, say hello  
  • Maintain your property 
  • Look out for their property
  • Abide by community rules (if applicable)
Know and Serve
  • Learn, remember, and greet neighbors by name
  • Welcome new neighbors – assist with move in, cookies or pie
  • Share your phone number, connect on social media 
  • Participate in neighborhood/area functions, social media groups
  • Share what you have – garden veggies, eggs, pool, tools, skills
  • Take initiative to meet needs – grass, leaves, snow, rides, babysitting
Love
  • Invite a neighbor over for dessert/coffee or dinner
  • Host an easy neighborhood gathering – bonfire/s’mores, water fun
  • Check-in via phone or text during cold months 
  • Celebrate the good and show up in the hard
  • Ask neighbors for help when you need it
  • Pray for them and be sensitive to their faith journey
5. Close in prayer. 

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