Tag Archive | John Stott

Who is My Neighbor? – 4

And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”  Matthew 4:23

“..and He went about doing good.” Acts 10:38

Jesus said, “Follow Me.”  What does this look like?  The verses above give us a start.  And John Stott elaborates further in his booklet, “Who is My Neighbor?” [1]:

‘He went about doing good.’ This is a beautiful description.  Jesus never did harm to anybody.  On the contrary, to everybody and in every circumstance he did positive good.

“He was not afraid to look human need in the face, in all its ugly reality.  And what He saw invariably moved Him to compassion,, and so to compassionate service.  Sometimes He spoke.  But his compassion never dissipated itself in words; it found expression in deeds.”  He saw, He felt, He acted.

“If, then, we are to resuce the concept of ‘doing good’–which Jesus both exemplified and commanded–from the scorn it has currently acquired, we shall have to rid oursleves of patronizing and self-righteous attiudes, and of a superficial ‘commitment without involvement’ mentality.  ‘Doing good’ must be the genuine expression of our love…love that is not sloppy or selfish sentimentality, but rather the sacrificing of ourselves to serve others constructively.

“It seems incontrovertible that if we are even to begin to follow the real Jesus, and to walk in His shoes, we must seize every opportunity to ‘do good.’ Our good works will show the genuineness of our love, and our love will show the genuineness of our faith!”

“..we have hear of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the brethren.”  Colossians 1:4

“..constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.”  I Thess. 1:3

 

There’s so much more to be said regarding loving our neighbor, the who’s, what’s, how’s and when’s of it all.  Suffice it to say, we should Just Do It.

[1] John R.W.Stott, Who is My Neighbor? Inter-Varsity Press, London. 1976

Who is My Neighbor? – 3

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But if any one has the world’s goods and see his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth.”   I John 3:16-18

Today I want to share more on how to love our neighbor, with quotes from John R. Stott’s booklet, Who is My Neighbor?  [1]:

Love, then is sacrificial service, giving oneself to serve others….The call to lay down our lives is not necessarily a summons to spectacular deeds of heroism (though some are called to this): it includes unspectacular (though not less heroic) deeds of service.   We can “lay down our lives’ when we give them freely in the service of others.  But where there is not giving nor serving, however loud our protestations to the contrary, there is no love.

“…With devastating force John applies his principle to the more affluent Christian.  He describes him as having two characteristics.  First, he ‘has the world’s goods,’ and second, he ‘sees his brother in need.’  This is the situation.  He ‘sees’ and he ‘has.’  He sees the need and has the wherewithal to meet it

“We know what Jesus did. He saw, he felt, he acted.  What about us?  If we don’t apply what we have to what we see, we are ‘closing our hearts’ against our needy brother….So, if His love is truly within us, it is bound to break out in positive action, in relating what we have to what we see…..The love of Christ prompts us to share with others both our material blessings and our spiritual riches.”

 “And beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Colossians 3:12-14

 

Tomorrow I’ll conclude this topic (maybe) with Scriptures and thoughts on Jesus’ example of love.

[1]  John R.W.Stott, Who is My Neighbor?  Inter-Varsity Press, London. 1976

Who is My Neighbor? – 2

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”  Galatians 5:13

I found a booklet in our little library from 1976, entitled “Who is My Neighbor,” [1] in which John R. Stott discusses the example Jesus gave of love, and specifically, the who, what, why, and how of loving our neighbor.  I’d like to post the entire thing here, but due to space and copyright limits, I really can’t.  So, I’ll just share a few excerpts over the course of several posts.

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

Stott:

“The victim [in the Good Samaritan] was just ‘a certain man,’ undistinguished by any characteristic except that he was a human being in urgent need.  The Good Samaritan did not know him, and in worldly terms was under no obligation to help him.  He probably belonged to a different race, rank, and religion.  BUT, his need, together with the Samaritan’s ability to meet his need, constituted him his neighbor.”

Jesus:

I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?  Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?  And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles [unbelievers] do the same?  Therefore, you are to perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:44-48

Stott:

“So, we must be ‘perfect’–that is, all-embracing in our love.”

 

 [1]  John R.W. Stott, Who is My Neighbor?  Inter-Varsity Press, London. 1975.

Earlier posts on this subject are under “Heroism of Love“, and “Who IS My Neighbor?”