#15: Share

Love Your Neighbor Challenge

So. Much. Work.

All this work to pray for your neighbors, map your ‘hood, learn people’s names, serve your community, give cute gifts, call a friend, help someone out, post nice things, eat a meal, offer a bit of praise, play together, write a note, host in your home, and love on moms during the Love Your Neighbor Challenge.

It’s for a purpose. 

We’re creating natural connections that can lead to spiritual conversations. Are you prepared to share your faith with your neighbor? 

Here’s how to share your faith with your neighbor: simply start in Genesis and explain the entire Bible all the way through to Revelation (don’t forget the minor prophets!), and sprinkle in a little church doctrine along the way. Walk them down the Roman Road, let them try on your Gospel Glove, and send them home with a fistful of tracts. Easy peasy!

Well, I guess that does sound hard. How exactly do we do that? Here’s one single verse that sums it up nicely:

In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15

“In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy…”

  • We can offer no explanation for something we have never experienced. If we haven’t honored holy Christ in our own hearts, we can go no further than our own front door.
  • This is the first and greatest command: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. 

“…always being prepared…”

  • Be continually on the lookout for the opportunity to engage. Stop to have a conversation. Listen for clues about what’s really on her heart. And allow your heart to be broken for your community.

“…to make a defense…” 

  • The word Peter used for “defense” means to make a reasoned statement.
  • Your personal testimony is an interesting, intriguing, non-threatening, and relevant way to open a conversation about Christ. When you share your personal story, defending your faith becomes natural and practical.
  • There’s nothing to memorize because you lived every excruciating detail! You were there, you know it best—and God will use your style and personality to tell your tale perfectly.
  • God will use your story as His megaphone to speak into someone else’s life.

 

“…to anyone who asks you for a reason…”

  • If anyone ever asks how you stay married and sane at the same time, or how you held yourself together during the pandemic, or how you managed to keep breathing let alone smiling after the loss they witnessed from across the street—they’re more than curious. They’re begging for solutions.
  • They crave peace, too. Chances are, they’re struggling to make sense of the pain, tragedy, and loss in their own homes.

“…for the hope that is in you…”

  • The Christian definition of HOPE is much so more than our feelings and emotions.
  • HOPE is the real person of Jesus Christ.
  • HOPE isn’t a wish, it’s a grounded reality based on the promises of God.
  • HOPE isn’t just happy outcomes, it’s having joy no matter what comes.
  • HOPE isn’t a longing, it’s a knowing.

“…yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

  • Loving our neighbor is more about attitude than tactics. It’s less about strategy and more about sincerity. 
  • The key to loving our neighbor is humility and understanding, compassion and concern, esteem and honor.
  • Your faith in Jesus is gently, respectfully, magnificently described in living color as we sit side-by-side and share of our personal experience walking with Christ down the road that finally led to hope.

Sharing our faith happens over conversations in crowded coffee shops, on park benches while children play underfoot, and in living rooms after everyone has gone to bed. The Gospel isn’t complicated. It’s not about rules or regulations, denominations or doctrines. The Gospel – the Good News! – is a person, Jesus Christ, who separates Christianity from all other faiths. We believe He is the Son of God who paid the penalties for our sins to reconcile us with God the Father, was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, and is coming again. 

When your natural connections lead to spiritual conversations, you may have the privilege and honor of praying with your neighbor to receive Christ as her Savior. As hard as this may seem, it’s really this easy—

“Dear God, I know I’ve been separated from You because of the sin in my life. I believe Jesus paid the penalty I deserved on the cross, and my sins are forgiven! I believe You rose from the dead and can resurrect all the dead areas of my life. I trust You as my Savior, and I love You as my friend. In Jesus’ name, amen!”

And now, your home in heaven can have the same next door neighbors as your home on earth.

Follow the Love Your Neighbor Challenge on Facebook or Instagram! 

If these tips and tools have given you a new idea, if you’ve met a new neighbor or thought about your neighbors in a different way, would you please let me know?

Contact me or message me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear your stories!

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