Being a Good Neighbor to Others

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Being a Good Neighbor to Others

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In that parable He describes an injured man lying helplessly on a well-traveled road.

At different times two people—both of them religious figures—pass by the injured man and fail to stop to help him. “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you’ ” (Luke 10:33-35 Luke 10:33-35 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said to him, Take care of him; and whatever you spend more, when I come again, I will repay you.
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Jesus gave this parable in response to someone who had asked Him, “ And who is my neighbor? ” After giving the parable, Jesus asked, “ ‘So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’ And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘ Go and do likewise ‘” (Luke 10:36-37 Luke 10:36-37 36 Which now of these three, think you, was neighbor to him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus to him, Go, and do you likewise.
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Is a sincere interest in caring for and serving others essential to the godly way of life?

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free” (Ephesians 6:7-8 Ephesians 6:7-8 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
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, NIV).

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27 James 1:27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
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; compare Matthew 20:25-28 Matthew 20:25-28 25 But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
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Jesus did not condemn receiving. But He stressed that a better blessing will come from giving than from receiving (Acts 20:35 Acts 20:35I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
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Notice these statements of Jesus to His disciples: “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8 Matthew 10:8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give.
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). “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42 Matthew 10:42And whoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
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). “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods” (Matthew 24:45-47 Matthew 24:45-47 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. 47 Truly I say to you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
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Giving and serving are simply putting God’s love into practice. Paul wrote: “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty [from being slaves to sin; Romans 6:20-22 Romans 6:20-22 20 For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.
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]; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 Galatians 5:13For, brothers, you have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
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Should our concern for others include those who dislike us?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:43-45 Matthew 5:43-45 43 You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
American King James Version×
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Where does God reveal to us how to love others?”For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Romans 13:9 Romans 13:9For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
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God’s commandments—His laws—define and explain love. By developing a deep desire to be a blessing to others—whether they love us or not—our understanding and appreciation for God’s commandments and laws will grow immensely “because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit …” (Romans 5:5 Romans 5:5And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
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