ourselves to the neighbors.
Hopefully they won't say
there goes the neighborhood.
All right, but we are
new neighbors in town.
And as we were going around
meeting people in the area, that's
how I would introduce myself.
I said, Hey, we're your new neighbors
because our church is meeting right there.
And we hope that we can be a
blessing to the neighborhood to the
communities in which we worship in.
And so we're going to talk about
this idea of neighboring because
we've also had the opportunity.
To read a book together called the art
of neighboring and this book has been
really really good This is the the cover
right here And it really talks about the
idea of when Jesus says that the second
greatest command is to love your neighbor
as yourself What if we actually took that
literally and actually love the neighbor?
That we live next to And so it was
really good because we can kind of
over spiritualize it because Jesus
expands the idea and definition of our
neighbor, but now sometimes we can make
it so far out that we forget the people
that actually live right next to us.
And so we've been learning a lot
and it's been encouraging and
exciting and challenging in many
ways and very practical on how we
can love our neighbor as ourselves.
So let me ask you this question here
as we're thinking about neighbors.
What would be the ideal neighbor for you?
What would be the ideal neighbor for you?
Let's go ahead, let's get a couple
people to answer that, alright?
What would be the ideal neighbor for you?
I appreciate that.
See, if you're visiting here,
we keep it 100 up in here, okay?
I want them quiet.
I don't want them making loud noise.
Okay, alright, cool.
Alright, yes, in the back.
Lots of power tools that seem to
have some type of self serving
intent behind that, right?
You can help me out.
We want some friendly,
uh, neighbors there.
Your, your ideal neighbor.
What would that be like?
A good cook.
There you go.
Invite me on over, huh?
Every Thursday I'll be on over.
There you go.
One with the boats.
Okay, are you noticing a trend here?
Man, we love the neighbors that will
somehow provide some benefit for us.
Okay, alright, here we go,
alright, one more, yes.
When you would get along with.
Yes, yes, you definitely don't
want that neighbor that, mm hmm.
Yeah, that makes you pray, right?
Alright, so we want neighbors
we want to get along with.
Let me ask you this.
What would it be like if
Jesus was your neighbor?
Wow, all those who might
not have heard that online.
What would it be like if
Jesus was your neighbor?
Think about that for a second.
Some of us, we got scared.
I, we were talking with the kids, uh, kids
class teachers earlier and I asked that
question and she's like, I'd be scared.
Why would you be scared?
Uh, because Jesus is next door.
And so basically like I gotta make sure
I act right, you know, and so some of us
we might think that fear But let's think
about all of the ideal Characteristics
of our neighbors with Jesus perhaps have
some of those Maybe not power tools.
I don't know but it Earth
that was a carpenter, right?
So he probably does have some right?
I think he was friendly right quiet He
had a lot of people over probably you
know to me And so you think about it,
Jesus, there's so many things, yes, maybe
we're challenged, but also I think Jesus
would be a blessing to his neighbors.
I think Jesus would be a
blessing to his neighbors.
And so now as we start to think about
that, we can start to go ahead and hone
in and funnel in and think about what
does that mean for us as a church and what
does that mean for me and my neighborhood.
And so the title of the lesson,
we'll just stick with the book
here is The Arts of Neighboring.
The Arts of Neighboring.
Let's go to God in prayer.
Father, thank you so much for
allowing us to worship you already.
God, it's been encouraging to think about
the Holy Spirit filling up not only our
lives but this room with your presence.
Father, we've been able to think
about how you so love the world
that you gave your one and only son.
And father, we can think about
being in the river, how we come
alive in spiritual waters that Jesus
provides, but also the river, the
waters of salvation that saved us.
God, we're already so grateful for
the encouragement, the fellowship
that we've been able to have, the
new people that we've been able
to engage in conversation with.
God, I pray right now though, that
your spirit is not done working, that
you will communicate your message.
Father, that we will all come away
inspired by Jesus and father that we
will make decisions to be more aligned
with your will in Jesus name, amen, amen.
Let's go ahead.
Let's get into it.
So the first observation I
have here is that Jesus was
a blessing to his neighbors.
Jesus was a blessing to his neighbors.
Let's go to Matthew chapter four church.
Are you with me?
If you're not, if you first
time visiting here with this,
this is an interactive time.
And so we, we interact, right, that, I
don't just go over here and speak for a
couple of minutes, but I'm, we're gonna
have some conversations, right, and so I'm
gonna need you to say some good things.
Uh, please don't say any bad things,
okay, like get off the stage, please
don't say anything like that, alright?
But let's go ahead, let's
get into the scriptures.
This is Matthew chapter 4.
Matthew was a letter, uh, written
by one of Jesus followers.
He actually was a tax
collector, so think about it.
He used to work for the local IRS.
And so he was not a huge, uh,
uh, uh, you know, popular fan.
Uh, not popular fan.
He wasn't a popular
figure in his hometown.
However, Jesus calls him
to be a follower of his.
He becomes a Christian.
And then he has the privilege and
honor of being able to write down
a lot of Jesus Ministry in life.
And so here we have this letter
that we call the book of Matthew.
And so it says in Matthew chapter
4 verse 12 when Jesus heard that
John had been put in prison He
withdrew to Galilee leaving Nazareth.
He went up to live in Capernaum Which
was by the lake in the area of Zebulun
and Naphtali, and Naphtali, excuse me,
to fulfill what was said through the
prophet Isaiah Land of Zebulun and land
of Naphtali The way of the sea, beyond
the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the
people living in darkness have seen a
great light on those living in the land of
the shadow of death, a light has dawned.
From that time on, Jesus began
to preach, repent for the
kingdom of heaven has come near.
So I wanted to get a little
picture here of the scene.
So this is Galilee, this is the
area during the time of Jesus.
And as you can see there, this is
where Jesus, he first was in Nazareth,
but he says he moved up to Capernaum,
and here's the Sea of Galilee.
And so he moves in there, and
so this is his neighborhood.
He moves into town, he's like, uh, our
church, we're moving into Placentia.
So this is his new neighborhood.
And so we get a glimpse now of what he
was like as a neighbor in his community.
And so what happens, he first
calls his, uh, first disciples.
To follow him.
And so now he has a group of people
that are following him and we take it
up in verse 23 Church Are you with me?
Okay, Matthew chapter 4 verse 23 Jesus
went throughout Galilee Teaching in their
synagogues proclaiming the good news of
the kingdom and healing every disease
and sickness among the people News about
him spread all over Syria and people
brought to him all who were ill with
various diseases those suffering severe
pain The demon possessed those having
seizures and the paralyzed and he healed
them large crowds from the Galilee, the
Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and the
region across the Jordan followed him.
Let's stop right there.
What's taking place?
Jesus is going around.
And not only is he hitting up his own
local town of Capernaum, but he says
he's going around all of Galilee.
And what happens is that in this area,
now other people start hearing about him.
And so we have another map right here.
And so again, remember,
he is in Capernaum.
But now it says people from Syria.
So that's up here.
Now Syria are coming.
Then it says the Decapolis.
There's a bunch of cities over here.
Then it says beyond the Jordan River.
So probably most likely the
east of the Jordan River.
Then it says all the way down to
Judea, right here in this area,
and all the way to Jerusalem.
Now this is a nice little
trek, wouldn't you agree?
And so Jesus, remember
he's just over here.
He's going around being a
neighbor, hitting up this area.
However, people from all around are
hearing about this and now want to
know some more about this man who's
preaching, teaching, and healing.
And so what do we see?
What can we take note of?
Well, let me ask you this question.
What happened to the communities
and neighborhoods that Jesus
lived in and was a part of?
Well we see that there was healing,
there was teaching of God's
truth, there was a message being
preached by Jesus of empowerment,
of hope, and of transformation.
And Jesus touched those who were lonely.
He reached out to those who
were suffering emotionally.
He helped those who were
hopeless and in pain.
Those who had lost their faith
or maybe drifted in their faith.
Those who maybe had money but yet
had family members that were now
outcasts or maybe on the outside
everything looked good but on the
inside things were in turmoil.
And Jesus teaches, He
preaches, and He heals.
People are affected.
Lives are impacted.
Lives are changed forever.
People's faith in God is different now.
Whoa, there's a God who is doing something
incredible through this carpenter's son.
As we can see, neighbors
were blessed by Jesus.
So what would it look like if Jesus lived
on your streets, lived in your complex?
Live on your block.
You know, it's incredible as I was looking
at this and thinking about this, and there
was this song that we were in the car
the other day, and it hit me, I was like,
you know, this is exactly what Jesus did.
You know, he was in the public squares,
he was in the synagogues, he was out
on the mountains, he was in the plains,
he was preaching to large people.
However, what he did is that he went And
he turns living rooms into life rooms.
Jesus turned living rooms into life rooms.
You see, he did a lot of stuff in
the public arena like we have here.
But then we know there were
countless times in which something
incredible took place in a home.
That's where much of
his teaching took place.
Much of his training took place.
And many healings took place.
You can go ahead and
take a picture of this.
Here are some, some examples.
There's so many in scripture,
but here are some examples.
With Peter's mother in law, he healed her.
In Jairus house, he raised
his daughter from the dead.
The paralytic was also healed
and as well as he taught there.
He brought salvation to
him and his household.
Simon the Pharisee's house, he's
anointed by the woman there.
And then he uses that opportunity
to teach about forgiveness.
Mary and Martha's house, he teaches
and brings them to be disciples,
which was radical to have women
disciples during that time.
But he teaches them the
importance of following his word.
And not only did he do this, but
then he called his disciples.
To also turn living rooms into life rooms.
You see, he goes and he,
he, he, he sends out 12.
And the Bible records
where he sends out 12.
And then he has another
time where he sends out 72.
And they're supposed to go
preach and teach and heal.
And look what it says here when he
gives them some direction about what
they should do as he sends them out.
When you enter a house, first
say peace to this house.
If someone who promotes peace is
there, your peace will rest on them.
If not, it will return to you.
Stay there eating and drinking
whatever they give you, for
the worker deserves his wages.
Do not move around from house to house.
When you enter a town and are
welcomed, eat what is offered to you.
Heal the sick who are there and tell them
the kingdom of God has come near to you.
You see, Jesus had modeled it.
They were along with him, a
part of all of these things
that he was doing in the home.
And he says, all right, now when
it's your turn, I want you to go out.
You're going to reach the masses, but
you also need to make sure that you
turn those living rooms into life rooms.
You see, there was perhaps in the public
square information or inspiration, but
in the homes, it was transformation.
And so we're out.
Yes, I want to inspire the masses.
And yes, there was transformation
in the public square.
Don't get me wrong.
But this is going to be where I give
information or I give inspiration, but
it's in the home where we're eating
and breaking bread together, where
we're talking, connecting, relating.
That's when a transformation
is going to take place.
That's when I'm going to heal those.
That's when I'm going to give
these an opportunity to teach about
the depth of the kingdom of God.
And he says, not only me,
but you guys do the same.
You see the art of neighboring
for Jesus was transformation.
In the homes, life together,
service, God's word, and
connection through relationship.
So what would it be like for
Jesus to be your neighbor today?
Well, in many ways, and definitely in
a spiritual sense, Jesus is present
in your neighborhood and block today.
Might not be recognized,
but he is present.
But let me ask you this.
What would happen if your neighborhood,
your street, Your block, your
community had a neighbor like Jesus.
What would happen then?
It hit me so hard as I thought
about this question and I thought,
Whoa, here's the crazy part.
Here's the phenomenal part.
Is that the church, God's people, Have
the opportunity to continue the legacy
and example of Jesus By being a blessing
to our own neighborhoods as well.
You and I have the opportunity to
continue the legacy, to continue
the example of Jesus by being
a blessing to our neighbors.
That was so incredible.
It stood out to me.
I thought, wow.
Because think about this.
What if a bunch of people, let's
say a bunch of people who, who,
who follow Jesus teachings and
example decided, you know what?
I'm going to actually love my
neighbor the way I love myself.
What if a bunch of people in our
neighborhoods who claim to believe in
Jesus and follow his teachings decided,
you know what, I'm going to actually
love my neighbor as I love myself.
What might happen in that community?
What might happen on your
block and in your complex?
If you, those in our church, those
outside of our church, what if
we all decided, you know what?
Let's follow Jesus teaching and example
and let's apply it to our neighborhood.
You think there might be a difference?
At worst case scenario, worst
case scenario, there's now a
truer sense of community because
we're engaging with each other.
We now feel a sense of
safety with each other.
We now feel a sense of good
obligation for one another.
Because we have a
relationship with one another.
And we're looking out for the
greater good of the community.
At best, many souls will
come to saving faith.
But man, even if I just get the worst
case scenario, I'll settle for that.
And you see, you and I, we
have a great opportunity.
To be a part of something that can
impact communities and lives that will
lead to change for all of eternity.
And so what can you and I do today?
I believe we can do this.
Let's turn living rooms into life rooms.
Let's turn our living
rooms into life rooms.
Yes, in the physical sense, in our homes,
having people over, people in the church,
our friends over, our neighbors over.
Yes, let's apply that to this, to this
area of our lives very practically.
But let's also apply it where it
becomes a mentality of hospitality.
Or even if I'm walking down the street,
yes, I might not have the time or
capability to invite you over for a
meal, but I want to be hospitable to you.
What if we had that mentality?
Well, we're going to share life together.
We're going to break bread together.
We're going to be
hospitable to one another.
To those in my neighborhood, to
my neighbors, to my friends, to
those in our churches, what we call
them, family groups and beyond.
I believe we will see some change and I
think every soul will be blessed by it.
And so how can we do this?
Let's get real practical here.
Engage, listen and offer support.
The very first thing I appreciate
in the book is that, you know, it's
hard to love your neighbor if you
don't know your neighbor's name.
Oh, your name is Eric.
Now that's me.
I mess up people's names all the time.
At least I tell them, look, I'm gonna
mess up your name at least six times.
So please forgive me.
On the seventh time, if I don't
get it, then you can get mad, okay?
But it's hard to love somebody if
you don't know their name, right?
But it's so much easier to connect when
you know their name, but what, if you
know maybe a little bit about them.
And so if we just decided, you know
what, the way I can turn my, my, my,
my lifestyle into a living, into a life
for me is let me just first engage,
let me just say hello and allow that
to slowly but surely be able to grow
and develop into a relationship.
And then let me listen, let me
hear the joys, let me hear the
successes, the triumphs, but let me
also hear your pain, your sorrow.
And what you're struggling with.
Because what does that do when you
hear somebody's joy and their pain?
It draws you closer to them, doesn't it?
And they are drawn closer to you.
And we know there's so much going on in
Orange County, we can be a little deceived
because we have nice homes or apartments,
and we think everybody has it together.
But until we engage in conversation
and listen, we go, wait, there's
a lot of deep waters here.
Just like you have a lot of deep waters.
And you're grateful for the people
in your life who have listened,
therefore being the arms and feet and
hands of Jesus by providing supports.
And that's the third thing you do is
offer support in a very tangible way.
Hey, here's how I can maybe perhaps
help, but then also as Jesus told them
to show people that the kingdom of
heaven is near to also offer support
by pointing people back to Jesus.
And this applies to us as individuals.
But this applies to us
collectively as a church.
We can invite people to do life together.
We can invite each other
to do life together.
Helping one another.
Helping each other's kids.
Serving in our communities
and our local family groups.
Loving our neighbors as a goal in itself.
And in preaching, teaching,
and healing of Jesus.
All of that will be seen, heard.
What if we became neighbors like Jesus?
You know, we want to be
a blessing to Placentia.
We want to be a blessing
where our family groups live.
We go all the way from Santa Ana to Brea
to Fullerton, Placentia and everywhere
in between Anaheim, Anaheim Hills.
What if us, what if we decided,
you know what, let's just be
like Jesus in our neighborhood?
You know, this is the type of church
that I think you want to be a part of.
This is the type of church I
believe Jesus wants us to be.
This is the type of church that
the community needs us to be.
And this is the type of church
that we are going to be.
And if you're visiting here with us
today, we want to invite you to join
us to be a blessing to our neighbors,
to be a blessing to our neighborhoods
so that God can be glorified, our lives
around us can be changed, and people
can be impacted for all eternity.
Can I get an amen?
Brothers and sisters, I'm excited about
what God is doing and what he wants to do.
And so let's just get real practical here.
Let me give you some action
steps here for the week here.
And similar to last week, I want to
give you some questions to reflect upon.
Maybe you can discuss here as you
get some cone of ice, alright?
But here's some questions.
Why has God sent us here?
What are the possibilities?
What do you envision or what can you
envision God doing with all of this?
And then who is God calling
you personally to be?
And what is God calling you to
do in this new era of ministry?
Take some time today, tomorrow,
think about it, pray about it,
reflect, answer these questions,
allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.
And we'll all be amazed at our
true, living, most high God.
And like we talked about
last week, it will lead us.
To praise right now.
We're going to take communion.
This is where we remember Jesus death
upon the cross for our salvation.
And hallelujah for his sacrifice.
But hallelujah for his resurrection.
And we take the emblems that
represent his body and blood that
was sacrificed for our salvation.
And we see here in this passage, it
says, this is how we know what love is.
Jesus Christ for us.
And we ought to lay down our lives
for our brothers and sisters.
Father in heaven, thank you so
much for the example of Jesus.
God, I'm inspired, I'm encouraged,
I'm challenged, but, but, but I really
get, I get geeked thinking about all
the things that you want to do in
my life, in the lives around me, in
our church, in our family groups.
In our community, even in
my family who maybe doesn't
have a relationship with you.
God, it gets me excited to see
the example of Jesus and the
opportunity to continue that.
I thank you for that.
But we thank you that
Jesus modeled this for us.
Thank you that he was a
neighbor of all neighbors.
Thank you that he was only
a blessing then, but he is
a blessing to our lives now.
Thank you that he lived a sinless life.
Thank you that he went to the
cross, but thank you that he
rose from the grave for that.
We say hallelujah.
We thank you for our chance to raise up
spiritually from our own life and that
we can to raise up to a new life and look
forward to eternity in the name of Jesus.