The Art of Neighboring

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (NLT) 
We are over half-way through our sermon and book study that is focused on us becoming better neighbors. I know that the book study has been engaging and impactful. I hope you have also been encouraged and empowered by the sermon series. I want to take a quick moment today and share some practical guidance on how to put into action all that we have been studying. 
First, remember that good neighboring is God’s big idea. Anytime the Lord asks us to do something we can be well assured that God will give us the grace, wisdom, joy, and even patience, to do it well. 
Second, remember that good neighboring is basically about inviting and making space for others to join you in what you are already doing. None of us has time to add more things to our already full plates. Do not assume that to build better relationships with your neighbors you will have to start doing a lot of new stuff with strangers. Instead, look for ways that God is at work around you. Invite your neighbors to join you for dinner, walks, chats on the porch…stuff you are already doing daily. Be open! 
Third, remember that good neighboring is about good loving. In last Sunday’s sermon, we started to get into the various types of love. My hope is that we can all see that we have the capacity to love others well, because of the great love we have received from God. Do not try to love everyone the same. Us the type of love that is appropriate for the relationship and then be willing to go deeper and higher as Holy Spirit leads you. 
How is it going for you? I would love to hear your feedback about the small group study and sermon series. Feel free to share your thoughts!  
Loving and praying for you,
Pastor Danielle

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