10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
Love One Another
11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
14 If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[f] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. (1 John 3:11-23)
As a kid, my family was surrounded by a lot of good folks. Our next door neighbors, the Jones, were amazing friends of my parents. The Browns were a few doors down. Going the other way, the Hardys were friends. Across the street were my friends Brian and his neighbor Tony. Mr. McDonald, an older man directly across the street often got “strong armed” to toss a football around with the boys on the street. (Names are changed as I do not have permission to use their names).
They were great neighbors. They helped each other regularly. Mrs. Jones watched my sister and I when my mother went back to work. The older we got, the more the rules changed to just making sure she knew where we were, Paula Brown was a few few years older than I. When my parents needed to go out and night in a non-kid setting, Paula was always the first babysitter called.
When I was 15 we moved from southwest Houston to Pasadena, a suburb city that was part of the Houston-metro area. The Graham’s lived next door but we never had the relationship with them that we had with any of the family friends in the old neighborhood. That doesn’t mean we weren’t grateful, just that they weren’t as close.
When I went into the Navy, Cindy and I lived in an apartment in Orlando for three months. We knew no one who lived there.
Continuing along the way, before I entered the ministry, we lived a lot of places. Nore often than not, we knew no one who lived around. I am not blaming them. The issues were far more with us. than with the neighbors. After entering the ministry, how much we had a relationship with our neighbors depended on how close we lived to the church. At my first church my closest neighbors were cows. I have no idea what their names were.
At many times we had neighbors that lived close, at other times there just wasn’t a place for neighbors to live. At one church, we lived behind the church. A street ran behind the church and the church owned everything on the street. No one but me and my family lived on the street.
When Cindy and I bought our condo in Lufkin, we made a real effort to meet our neighbors. We did favors for some of the people around us. They do things for us. I never understood the importance of neighbors when I was a kid. I get it today.
We do many things for those around living around us. They do much for us too and I am grateful. It makes our little condo community a better place to live and I am thankful.
Seeking the Genuine,
Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.