Did you know that Jesus loves the neighbors you like, and the ones you don’t like?
That may seem simplistic, but in reality, this is a BIG deal. So many times in the ebb and flow of relationships, we forget that Jesus loves everyone around us. Even our enemies. Even those who have done wrong to us. Even those who do things against God, He loves them.
If He didn’t, how could He love me or you?
God is love and so everything from Him is based in love. This doesn’t mean we always please Him or that He is pleased with our choices. But, His love is unconditional and this is true for us and for our neighbors.
Now, neighbors reference not just those who live by us, but also those around us on a daily basis. This is family, friends, co-workers, enemies, those who love God and those who defy God.
Our challenge is to see these people through His eyes and to respond through His love and not, through revenge or selfishness. Isn’t this hard? Especially when it comes to us forgiving others, serving others and overcoming others. Yeah, God is still working on me with this one.
But Jesus came came to have Christmas in the neighborhood.
Meaning, He doesn’t just think about us and our desires. He also thinks about our neighbors and His thoughts are good toward them. He didn’t come to save a few and then leave. No, He came because God so loved the world. Think about that. Jesus came and gave us Christmas, because the love of God was bursting to reach all people in the world.
“16. For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”John 3:16-17
These verses articulate Christmas.
Furthermore, they reveal why Jesus wants Christmas in the neighborhood. He wants to love others, like He loves us! He wants to save others, like He has saved us!
This is a BIG part of our faith,
because how we treat and love others, is a direct reflection of our connection to Jesus. Especially when people do us wrong, they don’t like us and we don’t like them.
I believe this Christmas Jesus is asking us to give Him away to the neighborhoods of our lives. He’s asking us, to love others as He loves us. He’s asking us to make a difference in our lifetime that will leave legacy both now and in eternity.
At City, Heart for the House is a way we reach Bloomington, as we bring Christmas in the neighborhood.
We do this practically by serving those in need through our Healing Hands outreach with material aid. We also are partnering with local agencies that serve orphans in our area, victims of sex trafficking and those on probation, trying to get a new start. All of this and more is why we see our neighbors and bring Christmas to them. This is how we bring Jesus to them.
This is why everything we give financially, however we serve physically and whatever we pray, God uses it for His glory.
So this year, how can you bring Christmas in the neighborhood?
Is it loving someone you don’t like? Forgiving someone? Having a hard conversation? Giving of your resources and time?
Whatever it is, do it!
Bring Christmas to someone else. Bring Jesus to your neighborhood and make a difference.
So, may God answer your prayers, show you His goodness and do miracles in your life.
Love and believe in you,