“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
–Matthew 22:36-39 NIV
21 Days of Prayer and Fasting
Our Relationship With Others: Serving Your Neighbors
Loving our neighbors can include serving them—in a variety of ways. Serving them coffee and dessert on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Offering to mow an elderly neighbor’s grass. Surprising new parents with a free night of babysitting. Donating time and resources at the Salvation Army or as a volunteer at a hospital or the church nursery. There are hundreds of ways to show love and serve your neighbor.
Service is a great way to put aside our self-centeredness and notice how we are connected to others. When we start seeing the genuine needs of others, it deters our own sense of entitlement. None of us became the people we are alone, but by the sacrifice and investment of many others from our earliest years.
Serving others not only reveals the bonds between us, it reflects the love of God. When we serve others, we experience God’s grace. It points people to Christ. Jesus modeled grace that goes way beyond our understanding by emptying himself for us. His example calls us to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). In our “me-first” culture, God calls us to put others first.
Are you looking out for others the way you look out for yourself?
Ask God how you can better love and support your neighbors and community.