Reach Your Neighbor
Jesus told us to love our neighbors and that we are responsible for them (Mark 12:31, Luke 10:37).
Reaching our neighbors is the best way to evangelize the world. All of us don't have opportunity to directly impact people on the other side of the world, but we all can influence those we touch.
* Your "neighbors" are really the only ones you can directly reach for Jesus Christ.
While it may seem more exciting to witness to a stranger in a strange land, it is usually most effective witnessing to those who know your life. Plus, Jesus never commanded us just to make converts, but to make disciples, which takes time and commitment.
If all of us continue to reach those we come in contact with, we can reach the world!
* If you don't reach your neighbor for Christ -- who will?
Who should God send into your neighborhood to reach the people you live and work around? God has already sent you there!
You may think you would be ineffective, but that is the devil's lie to keep you inactive. Your life -- and even your few feeble words -- can be more powerfully used by God to reach your neighbor, than all the great sermons ever preached! You are there -- you are real -- you are believable.
2 CORINTHIANS 3:3 NKJ
3 you are manifestly an epistle of Christ . . . .
To present the Gospel effectively the Word must become flesh. You are the letter from God that your neighbor will read and believe most easily.
MATTHEW 5:16 NKJ
16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
It's time for Christians to come out of hiding.
* If you don't reach your neighbor for Christ -- he may "get you" for the devil.
Your neighbors make up the community where you live. For you to enjoy fullness of peace, safety, and blessing -- your neighbors need to be blessed and walk in love, too.
Who Is Your Neighbor?
Your neighbors are those you are around where you work and where you live. It would include whoever lives on your street, or block, or, whoever lives in your apartment building, or floor.
Plant Some Seed
After you determine your "neighborhood," and begin praying for your neighbors, you should, as God leads you, begin to plant seed.
As you begin to pray for them, it is important that your neighbors know where they can turn for spiritual help. Your praying will make them hungry for God -- they need to know where they can find spiritual food.
It is really best, and not so difficult, to knock on their door saying, "I'm your neighbor. I'd like to introduce myself and give you this little note with my name and phone number on it."
You may hesitate to "come out of the closet" and be a public Christian, but remember Jesus said if you are ashamed of Him -- He will be ashamed of you (Mark 8:38).
People must know we are believers, or they will never know they can call on us for help!
Real estate agents have found that if they maintain regular contact with homeowners in an area, a percentage will use their services when they are ready to sell a home. We should remember this same principle in helping people.
For materials you can use in doing this, please contact us. We have several cards, tracts, and teaching papers designed for this purpose.
You may want to hand deliver these, or you may think it best to mail them. Please pray and ask for God's guidance.
If you hand deliver, you may choose to stick them in (under, or on) people's doors. Or, you might fix a little plate of cookies, ring the doorbell, and really hand deliver them.
Although it is best to be natural, and not use a canned approach on your friends and neighbors, it can be helpful to think about leading questions you might use when the time is right, such as:
* Do you believe in life after death?
* Have you ever read the Bible?
* What do you think happens when people die?
* Do you expect to go to Heaven?
* Do you give much thought to spiritual matters?
* What do you think of Jesus Christ?
* If someone were to ask you, "What is a Christian?" what would you say?
One Step-By-Step Plan
* Take a sheet of paper and walk around your "neighborhood," writing down every address.
* Go to your library. Request the Address/Telephone Directory. This gives the names of all people with a listed telephone. Or, ask for a Reverse Directory which shows every address. Write their names and phone numbers on your "My Neighbors" list. (If these are not available where you live, you will have to obtain their names another way.)
* Claim them all for the Kingdom of God in the Name of Jesus Christ. Break the power of the devil over them to blind them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
* Begin to get to know them. Begin giving them handouts to let them know you are a believer and what you believe.
Consider hosting a neighborhood barbecue. Or have a neighborhood watermelon party. Do whatever the Holy Spirit leads you.
* Intercede in prayer for them daily. Confess God's Word over them daily.
* Always be prepared to minister to them, help them, or pray for them -- should they request it. Don't force Jesus on them, but love them and be available.
* Invite them to your Church Cell meeting as the Holy Spirit leads you. It may be best to just call it a Bible study.
* Consider having a Children's Church Cell if there are children in your neighborhood, especially if they are unchurched. If you can, consider having it after school -- a time parents of most latch-key kids would love.
* You may be led to notify them of special programs on Christian TV, or invite them to special events. As you continue to pray for them, the Holy Spirit will guide you to do the right thing to reach them.
* An excellent approach is to give a person some good written material, and say, "Please read this and tell me what you think." That keeps it from seeming like you are trying to force something on them, or that you think you know more than them. It communicates that you value their opinion.
These are some ideas -- not laws -- to assist your thinking. The Holy Spirit will guide you what to do and when to do it, so trust Him and follow His guidance.
Don't wait. Get started today. Take the first step. If you don't reach your neighbor, you may regret it. If you don't make them a friend, they may cause you harm as your enemy! You have the love of God, and His authority -- use it to reach your neighbors!
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