A few weeks ago, God impressed on me that I was not obeying His command to love my neighbor as He intended. I have been asking Him for clarification. Where is my neighborhood and who is my neighbor? Specifically, WHERE and WHO? Did I need to do something differently? I wasn’t feeling condemned by God. Rather, I felt joy that He was taking me into a deeper understanding what it means to be a Follower of Jesus Christ. Here’s some of what I have been processing…
Who IS my neighbor?
“…When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem” [where they were residing…in their own back yard] “throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about my death and resurrection.”
Acts 1:8 (TLB)
They simply did not understand. Things were not turning out as they thought or hoped for. What was Jesus talking about and what were they supposed to do now? And what does that verse have to do with my new “assignment” from God? (To love my neighbor) Wasn’t I already doing that? As a mentor life coach, I love encouraging friends and clients. I support ministries and I write blogs and books to encourage people to love God and have a relationship with Him. What was I missing? What specifically am I not understanding?
Now what? Their friend was gone
:12, 13 “…They were at the Mount of Olives, so now they walked the 1/2 mile back to Jerusalem and held a prayer meeting in the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. This prayer meeting went on for several days…about 120 people were present…”
They waited a long time
Acts 2:1 “Seven weeks had gone by since Jesus’ death and resurrection and the day of Pentecost had now arrived.”
The Apostles were still in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit descended on the group in that room. They had been waiting seven weeks. Confused. Their Best Friend had left them. And now, in that room, the Holy Spirit arrived. And…at last, they KNEW what Jesus had been trying to tell them. He HAD to leave them so that each of them could receive for themselves the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT residing in them.
But now what?
The people from many nations ran to the house to see what was causing the commotion in that upper room. And the people from those other nations heard these people (the disciples and apostles) from Galilee speaking in their own language “…about the mighty miracles of God.” (v. 11 TLB)
The sentiment of that day was:
Can anything good come from Galilee? And yet, MUCH good was coming from those in the upper room who had prayed and waited for direction. For the Holy Spirit. And each person heard the message in their own native tongue.
(Peter speaking) :
:18, 19 “ Each of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ or the forgiveness of your sins, then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit: For Christ promised Him to each of you who has been called by the Lord our God, and to your children, and even to distant lands.”
Where is my neighborhood?
So, what I am learning anew is my current “neighborhood” is the apartment building where I live.
I am a writer…a published author. I write books, blog posts, and newsletters. That takes quiet, solitude, concentration, and setting myself aside to think and to study and to write. But, like most things, I had taken it too far. I was isolating and would get frustrated if my solitude was interrupted.
God changed my priorities
He lovingly convicted me that my immediate neighborhood is a blessing from God to me. Each is a gift. I am grateful for each of my neighbors. May I continually seek ways to encourage and bless each one.
I’m sure this is just the beginning of God changing my mindset. But this part so far has been a joy!
“…the direction of Divine living is a deliberate surrender of our own point of view in order to learn Jesus Christ’s point of view and seeing that men and women are nourished in the knowledge of Jesus. The only way that can be done is by being loyal to Jesus myself.”
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Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.
Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor