Summary: Jesus will change how you deal with your friends, neighbors and enemies.
Jesus Changes the Neighborhood
Ill. Catherine Booth was the "mother" of the Salvation Army. "Wherever Catherine Booth went," said Campbell Morgan, "humanity went to hear her. Princes and peeresses merged with paupers and prostitutes."
One night, Morgan shared in a meeting with Mrs. Booth; and a great crowd of "publicans and sinners" was there. Her message brought many to Christ. After the meeting, Morgan and Mrs. Booth went to be entertained at a fine home; and the lady of the manor said, "My dear Mrs. Booth, that meeting was dreadful"
"What do you mean, dearie?" asked Mrs. Booth.
"Oh, when you were speaking, I was looking at those people opposite to me. Their faces were so terrible, many of them. I don't think I shall sleep tonight!"
"Why, dearie, don't you know them?" Mrs. Booth asked; and the hostess replied, "Certainly not!"
"Well, that is interesting," Mrs. Booth said. "I did not bring them with me from London; they are your neighbors!"
I. Your Friends.
27-28 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it"--when you have it with you.
• These verses speak openly about those who we have regular contact with.
• It is important that we catch not only the subject of these verses, but the direction of the wise relationship.
• It speaks of having an opportunity to give or do good to our friends and doing or giving it without delay.
• A true friend is one who seeks good for the other person.
• I believe based upon this text and other text, a true friend is one who seeks, not only the good, but the best.
• A true friend will seek the best for his or her friend at great sacrifice.
• Pro_17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
• A true friend is not hot or cold in the friendship. It is not a situation of them being nice to you when you are alone with them, but when other “friends” are there, they pull away from you.
• A true friend definitely will not choose to lead you to something hurtful or evil.
• That would not be a Godly friendship, and God is calling you to be a true friend.
• A true friend is better than family in some situations.
• Pro_18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
• A family member sticks with you by nature, by kin, without choice, but will hopefully stick with you.
• A friend has chosen to stick with you by choice. That is a dearer sentiment.
• I love those particularly who stick with me, not because they are stuck with me, but because they have chosen to love me.
• Being a good friend is being Christ-like. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
• Rom 5:7-8 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
• There you see a sacrificial giving to you when you least deserved, because God chose to love you.
• That is the friendship style He is calling you to be towards your friends.
• The difference Jesus should make in your life is that you seek the best for your friends and not lead them away from God.
II. Your Neighbors
Pro 3:29-30 Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm.
• Now I am distinguishing between a friend and a neighbor. You might say, this applies to strangers.
• I am speaking about people you come across, may be acquainted with, but are not in your social friendship circle.
• I believe this passage is particularly speaking about those who are different from us.
• The Bible is clear on how we are to live with strangers. God loves strangers.
• Haddon Robinson said. "Your neighbor is anyone whose need you see, whose need you are able to meet." A neighbor is someone who says, "What is mine is God’s and what is God’s belongs to my neighbor because my neighbor belongs to Him."
• In Matthew 25:31-40, when Jesus was telling about the Judge honoring those who loved Him in this life, one of the things He mentions in verse 25 was, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”