Sunday, October 25, 2015

Neighborliness (Pt. 1)

Neighborliness [near*dweller] (What issue are trying to address with this series? #Disconnect)

•Table ( prop)
•What blessings have we forgone?
•Hagin conference in Iowa & eating alone
  • Ms. Louise Dunlap
•Kevin D. Rose & 8th grade party (he waited for me to get ready)

Hospitality: The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

“When Christ relinquished Himself from ALL godly power, prestige and accompanying benefits ~ what did he do to  to assert influence in the world he’d created?”

Philippi was a city in Eastern Macedonia (Modern Greece); was a prosperous town and the first church on European soil. An interstate highway from the east to Rome crossed through Philippi; had been a mining town for gold and silver; Thus a city that was rich in political and historical background.

Phil 2.1-11 (Words/phrases/Concepts that jump out):
  • Whatever ever you’ve received ~ you should offer
  • Imitate Christ’s attitude (didn’t use position of power for just himself)
  • Downward mobility (The Father exalted Christ after doing so)
  • Humble yourself: Not thinking you’re better than you really are

This is our way of doing what Christ did in his incarnation (Phil 2)

*Essentially, then, the Mosaic laws demand both compassion and justice to be guaranteed for the foreigner because God loves the sojourner ( Deut 10:18 )

Who is my neighbor?

The one who's hurting!
The one who'll inconvenience you!
The one who currently cannot do for themselves!

We/society says... We have too many problems! I say: we don't have enough good neighbors! 

God told King Saul: When you were small in our own eyes...

►Neighborliness is a dangerous concept: It suggests that we're tethered to someone near us~ and it's not someone we'd normally pick to be tethered to. 

►Neighborliness doesn't merely suggest that our success is linked to our response to someone's need~ oh no! Scripture suggest they its liked to our love for God!

►Neighborliness IS evangelism if we believe the one plants, one waters, but God gives the increase. We shouldn’t evangelize stranger ~ make the neighbors first!

►We’ve shared…and forced… our faith for eons. Let’s share our Love and Faith!

Next Steps ~

  • Acknowledge that you’re chosen and come take a seat at the Lord’s Table
  • If you don’t feel you know enough about Jesus to sit at his table ~ please talk with someone in back of the room
  • Pray to be more neighborly
  • Don’t leave until you visit the Next Steps Table in our Lobby and act out your neighborliness with a Life Group. Sign up!
  • Follow the fast guidelines and readings this week
  • Please fill out a communications card

Tethered (Neighborliness Pt.2)

An Untethered life is a dangerous life! (It was never meant to be lived alone.) We were each born tethered to someone.

*a flexible cable, pipe, or other line carrying essential services or supplies.

➣Our current worldview is jacked up with individualism. 
➣Our identity is shaped by community ~
➣The change that’s rendered by human contact, holy love, genuine concern, tangible compassion, is what I am referring to as hospitality.
➣Tethering is different that were altruism because of its aim

*FOL must be hallmarked by our hospitality! (FOD & biz community response)

Why is tethering important? The untethered is who he came for…

Joshua 2

  • Her house was part of the city wall
  • She recognized God in/on them
  • She knew their history
  • She acquired the Lord’s grace by her act of hospitality
  • She knew God’s actions and asked for a blessing/sign as a result

Rahab’s actions:
  • Her house was part of the city wall
  • tied scarlet rope
  • searched for 3 days

These men told Joshua about their promises:

22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.

24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.


➣Who saved who?
➣This prostitute held King David & the Heaven’s savior inside her
➣While you question someone’s worthiness of your time; you could actually be saving yourself, or someone you love.

Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,

4. There are four women, and but four, named in this genealogy; two of them were originally strangers to the commonwealth of Israel, Rahab a Canaanitess, and a harlot besides, and Ruth the Moabitess; 

In Jesus Christ ~ strangers and foreigners are welcome. (He didn’t hide family skeletons)

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

➣Stop worrying about being tethered…go tether yourself to someone!

Power of Neighborliness: Acts 2/Acts (Pt. 4)

*Power of Neighborliness: Acts 2/Acts 4

*Less value is placed on people today, therefore, on relationships with people.

*technology can either allow us to connect more frequently or hardly at all.

*The warmth with which we meet and greet people says a lot about our faith. (Ppl come to FOL not knowing much about theology, scripture, church protocol, etc.)

*Neighborliness creates space for God to invade human space where people “neighbor" and are “Neighbored

Prior to The Good Samaritan, what was the litmus test for godliness? 
Answer: Legalism, rules, laws, sacrifices, appeasing God with religious fervor

Jesus chose neighborliness ~ using such strong language in order to stretch us beyond mere compliance and niceness. Jesus was convinced:

  • It would take the Holy Spirit to see God in each other
  • It would take the Holy Spirit to love God in each other
  • It would take the Holy Spirit to hold to each other

God is not going to let us mess up Heaven with pettiness, selfishness or disunity.

When neighborliness is established…it doesn’t matter who possesses the most, the newest, the best, etc., because needs will be met.

“Legacy of Love; Who’s Your Neighbor

*Again, Our love should not be limited to those who are just like us, but rather those who are near us and in need of support.

  • The parable of the good neighbor is Jesus’ way of challenging us to our very core.  It challenges:
    • What we believe about God (no respecter of persons)
    • Our so-called trinitarian theology (do we believe in the necessity of unity)
    • What we believe about the dignity of humanity (if we are a true reflection of God what does our lack of hospitality; lack of mutual respect; and our morbid obsession with being monolithically comfortable?)

  • Every whisper of the Spirit during prayer; every jot and tittle of God’s word during study; every theological and dogmatic insight must be tested against the anvil of unity and unconditional love! If that whisper—that insight—that dogma—does not propel us into the pain of another…emptiness of another…story of another…harms way of another…it is either not of God—other the hearer is NOT a follower of God.

*Power of Neighborliness: Acts 2/Acts 4 (Text & Context)

  • Create a visible place for the invisible presence of God to dwell

  • Godliness (Proximity and mixture of God & you)  breeds Neighborliness (Proximity and mixture of your and others) & Neighborliness breeds Unity e.g. selflessness; collaboration; interdependence; care, compassion; empathy; Presence of God; fruit! (A new creation that beckons the Holy Spirit!); When the Spirit falls…anything can happen!

  • God’s presence was in Eden; present in miracles; was not present in angels but referenced by angels; Christ broke into the our world and smuggled in the presence of God…

  • Hence, making it possible, feasible even…for God to dwell inside…and among believers!

  • Christ’s methodology for changing, healing and saving the world was through relationships.
    • God became an Only Begotten Son
    • He became a physical son, a brother, a student, an apprentice, a leader

‘Next Steps:

Luke 10:37 (NIV)
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

*What happens to us as we go & emulate God?

You may not be a great evangelist, however, can you be a good neighbor?

Galatians 6:10 (NIV)
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

*Scripture has taught us that when we’re kind to others, we have touched God.
(Matt 25; Hebrews 13.2 (Angels unknown); 

Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.