Just love somebody and tell them about Jesus
Sometimes we overcomplicate it, don’t we?
Yes, what we believe is important. Yes, there are distinctives we hold to about God, Jesus, faith, sin and salvation. Sometimes, though, we need to just love somebody and tell them about Jesus. We worked on that yesterday.
What did you do yesterday?
What did you do yesterday? Yesterday we loved people. At least we tried. I’m not sure we always get it right.
Yesterday was our third I heart My Neighborhood event. This one was pretty simple. We got together at one of our members’ homes and knocked on doors asking three simple questions:
- What is something a church might be able to do to make your neighborhood a better place?
- Do you know someone in your neighborhood who needs some help?
- How can we pray for you?
It’s always interesting to see what kind of response we will get. I’ve noticed that the nicer the house, the more likely the person who answers the door is going to be grumpy. I’ve also noticed that the number of people who answer their doors is inverse to the number of Ring doorbells on a street. And, people over 65 and under 35 are way more likely to answer the door and talk cordially with us. (Gen X-ers, what’s up with us?) And that’s all OK because we really just want to talk with people who want to talk with us. (Life’s just easier when mean people don’t answer their doors.)
One great response makes it worth it!
What I’ve noticed as we have worked to just love somebody is that one great response makes it worth it! Yesterday, the group I was with got to meet a couple ladies who invited us into their house, talked with us about some needs in their neighborhood and let us pray for them. That was a lot of fun.
The other group met some people who thought it was really interesting that a church was knocking on doors. They found out as they talked with people that there were not many unmet needs in their block because their block takes care of one another! What?!? I want to move to that block! What a great place to live! (If you live in that block, I impressed! Keep it up! And let us know how we can help! We want to support neighbors caring for one another! Seriously, we want to be that kind of neighbor!)
Just loving somebody will cost you something (or, maybe, a lot)
You’ve probably noticed that loving someone always costs us something. Yesterday it cost us about two-and-a-half hours of our Saturday morning. Saturday morning is prime family time. That’s expensive.
Jesus told us that loving people is not cheap. In Luke 10, Jesus sent his followers out to prepare the way for his teaching. When they got back, he listened to their report. Then, he told the story of The Good Samaritan. You are probably familiar with the story, but let me give you a little refresher (You can read it for yourself here.)
Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along. (That’s putting it mildly.) A Jewish man was mugged on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. As he laid there on the side of the road, a couple good Jews walked by without helping him. Then, a Samaritan tended to his wounds, put him on the animal he had been riding and took him to the nearest inn to be cared for — in a world without CareNow, inns were the closest thing to urgent care. Then, the Samaritan paid the bill for the man’s stay and medical bill.
To be fair, the Samaritan was not a poor man. He had an animal with him. Feet were the cars of the day, so he probably had some wealth. But, he understood at least part of the purpose for his wealth was to help someone else. And he did. Generously! A lot!
…and tell them about Jesus
It’s funny. Once you have met a real need in someone’s life, they will let you tell them about Jesus. Of course, you can’t be judgy or fake. You have to continue to love them. (Your love has to be the real thing. They will figure it out if it’s not.)
What do you tell them about Jesus? That’s pretty simple really. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul told us what our message should be:
- Jesus died for our sins and was buried.
- He rose from the grave (proving death and sin were defeated).
- When we trust in him, we receive a place in his resurrection.
Even though it’s not a tough message, sometimes it can be hard to share. But, you’ll find it’s a lot easier when you really love the person you are sharing it with (and they know it).
Come love people with us
If you live near us and want to make our cities better places to live, you are invited to come love people with us. This time we were just knocking on doors. We often have people doing the work of loving people by doing odd jobs or small construction projects to meet real needs. You are welcome to send me a note and let me know you are interested.
How do you need to just love somebody this week?