The Art Of Neighboring
September 23 - October 15
Jesus told us to, “Love our neighbor as ourself”. What if he really meant it? Whether we share a fence or not, how do we share the love of God with those who live closest to us?
Who in your life was your best neighbor and why were they special?
Read Matthew 22:37–40. How do these words encapsulate all of the other laws?
How did Jesus living these words while He was here on earth?
On a scale of 1-10 (1 low / 10 high) how good of a neighbor are you? Why do you give yourself the score you do?
We talked this week about loving people that are different that we are. Why is this often so hard? How have you seen this to be true in your life?
It is very common for all of us to view situations and even people from the paradigm of our own perspective. This is called ethnocentrism. Why can this be so dangerous when we are interacting with people that are different than we are? How can we combat this?
Finally we talked about how Christ-Followers are modified by Jesus’ influence in our lives. How have you seen this to be true? How could this modification impact the way you love the people God has placed in your life?
Pray for opportunities to Love Your Neighbor better this week.
Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves but many people today have a hard time loving themselves properly. How could struggling to love ourselves affect the way we see and treat others?
Read 1 John 3:1-2. How can we grow or help others grow in cultivating an appropriate love for ourselves?
In the story of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:33 says that “a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.” The Greek word for pity literally means “to have the bowels yearn”. It’s a compassion felt deep in the gut. In a world filled with so much pain, how can we keep our hearts from becoming calloused to the needs around us?
Share a time when in your life when you were in need and someone stepped in to meet that need.
Read James 2:14-17. The compassion of the Samaritan led to action that cost him something. What are some of the barriers that keep our “feelings” of compassion from becoming action and how can we overcome those barriers?
Is there someone in your life right now that God seems to be laying on your heart to help? Spend some time praying for that person or persons and for God to give you the courage, wisdom and strength to reach out to them.
Describe you current neighborhood and the types of relationships that you have with your neighbors. Take a minute to do the block map exercise. How much of your block map are you able to fill in?
What were the main reasons that you decided to purchase or rent your current residence? Did you meet any of your neighbors before deciding to move there?
Read Luke 10: 25-29. In verse 29, the expert in the law tries to find a loop hole by asking Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In what ways do we try to justify ourselves in order to get out of actually knowing and loving our neighbors?
Take a minute to pray silently together. Ask God to reveal a next step that he is asking you to take with one of your neighbors. Go around the room and share what that next step is. Have everyone share out loud and write down everyone’s next step so you can be praying for each other throughout the week.
*** This is the most important discussion topic of the week so be sure to allow plenty enough time to cover it.
Who was your most memorable neighbor? Why?
How do you honestly think your neighbors feel about you? Why?
What has been the most challenging part of this series for you? Why?
Read Matthew 22:37-40. Why do you think that although we know this is what Jesus told us to do, we struggle to actually do it?
What would happen if we all took this mandate seriously? What kind of impact could we have on this valley?
What holds you back the most from being the neighbor God has called you to be?
Did you do the magnet exercise? What are your neighbors names? What are a couple things you need to do to become a better neighbor in your neighborhood?
Pray for your neighbors!