“It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?…” These are the beginning lyrics of the famous Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood TV show that aired for many years. I mostly caught reruns as the show had ended in 2001. It also wasn't the first choice I, or my brother, picked as we channel surfed. My usual TV shows were with more cartoonish characters running into well painted murals of roads, tunnels, and various things, in order to catch a much faster character. What an artist!
I have been living in Jamestown now since Labor Day weekend this year and just had an opportunity this week to meet two of our neighbors. Once because I needed a jump due to a dead battery; the other time when I needed some snow removed. My neighbor noticed I had a Nebraska Huskers hat on and said he’d help me move the rest of my snow. He had a jeep with a blade. I had a shovel. I was so thankful! He did so all because he was from NE originally and wanted to help a fellow Nebraska-nite.
Over the last few months the Holy Spirit has been stirring my heart to reach my whole neighborhood. Game plan? Unsure yet but I know I got to meet them first and then go from there. We see in the Bible Jesus giving us our mission objective, (should we choose to accept), being the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20. In Matthew Jesus gives that directive to the disciples but not without a directive to follow it. In Acts 1 we see Luke documenting that Jesus, after being raised from the dead, was eating with them (the disciples) and gave one more detail. This was the gear, the necessities, to carry out their mission. He says, and I will paraphrase, “Don’t leave here until I give you what is promised (needed) to help you fulfill/succeed on your mission. For John baptized you with water and now you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” They asked if this was the time for the kingdom of Israel to be restored. Jesus says, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” (Acts 1:7-8). This means that the disciples got the gear for their greatest mission so that they could succeed! And the best part is that it is accessible to us, too!
What does that mean or how does that apply to us? Simply put, as great of importance it is to spread the Gospel message to the “ends of the Earth,” investing and supporting missionaries, we must not forget our “Jerusalem.” Jesus said the 2nd greatest commandment is “Love your neighbor as yourself,” (Matt 22:39). As we just finished up a few weeks ago the Scott Willis conference, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Matthew 10 that as we freely receive blessings from the Lord, we must freely give. God is not a poor god as He pours into us, the flow doesn't just stop after the first deposit if we keep giving it out.
I have been a part of New Life and I can say you are all ROCK STARS! You bless and give so generously in so many ways! I am so grateful to be a part of a church that “gets it.” God’s vision for you is to live and experience freedom, healing, joy, peace, and more. God’s vision for You…R Neighbor is to experience the same things and you hold the key. How exciting! Who is your neighbor? I will let you answer that and let the Holy Spirit direct you to whom you should consider your neighbor. As Mr. Rodgers made the invitation singing this, “Would you be mine? Could you be mine?…” Would you extend the same invitation? Who might the Holy Spirit asking you to extend the invitation towards? Maybe as you do so, sing that song to them. You never know!, someone might have been waiting their entire lives to hear that very song sang to them.
New Life Jamestown