During yesterday’s sermon, Pastor Mary reminded us that we are to be praying boldly, because we serve the Miraculous Creator of everything. She also nudged us to remember what Jesus commanded us to do, and that is that we must serve our neighbors. Jesus feels that loving our neighbors is so important that He put it right up there with loving God: “And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
Everyday, God places people within our path, whether it’s at home, work, school, or within the community who He wants to be able to reach…but, only by being able to move in and through us to bring those people His love. Are you spiritually open and aware that God is seeking to use you each and every day to love a neighbor, or two, or maybe even more?
In today’s passage, Paul exemplifies how we are to treat our neighbor, by how he treats his neighbors, who are the brothers and sisters of Christ in Rome. He is thankful for them, he prays diligently for them, he wants to spend time with them so they can grow in their faith and use their spiritual gift together, he wants to encourage them and to be encouraged by them (“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17), and he is eager to share the Good News with them.
Friends, we need to be in diligent prayer, and not only for ourselves, but for our neighbor, for all of humanity, and for the world. We need to come boldly before the Throne and ask our Creator for more and more miracles so that the Kingdom of God can keep growing here on earth, and we have to do it together, and alongside of our neighbor.
Romans 1:8-15 NLT
God’s Good News
8 Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. 9 God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.
10 One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. 11 For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. 12 When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.
13 I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to visit you, but I was prevented until now. I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles. 14 For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike. 15 So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for hearing and answering our prayers. Help us to be patient when our prayers seem to not be answered, and to trust that You are working what is good and You will bring forth the highest and best. Holy Spirit, please guide us to be a loving neighbor to someone today. Quiet our own thoughts so that we can hear what You need us to hear, let us see others through Jesus’s eyes, and guide our hearts to be in one accord with His heart. We ask all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.