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Transitioning is a time that most people do not enjoy. It is commonly a time of uncertainty or unknown that makes most people uncomfortable. Whether it is a new job, finishing high school and going to college, finishing college and getting a new job, moving to a new city, whatever it may be, it brings about changes that most do not like. We are creatures of habit and like things the way they are because it is what we are comfortable with.

Switching to a new job is scary because you are forced to learn a new task, get to know a new boss and begin working with different coworkers. When graduating high school: you commonly will move out of the house, you will not see your family as much, and will start to prepare yourself for a career after college. When graduating college: you will no longer see your friends from school, you will start looking for a job, you will have to look for a place to live and learn to manage your finances. Moving to a new city: you start a new job, join a new community, find a new house, and will be in a city where you likely do not know anyone.

All of these times provide changes that most people do not like. However, transitioning is not all bad. Quite often it is necessary to jumpstart a certain area of your life that you have been stagnant in. It may also provide unique opportunities to meet a new group of people to share the Gospel with. If you move, you can look for a new way to make an impact for Christ in the community. It can be a fresh start for you to be someone different and break out of the mold you had previously been placed in.

In the difficult times, we can look to God’s Word as it offers many scriptures relating to the feelings of fear and anxiety that we may be experiencing: Philippians 4:6-7 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." We see here that God will provide you with peace if you go to Him in prayer. Another relevant scripture is 2 Corinthians 1:4-7 which says, "Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." God will comfort us through the uncertainty that threatens to rob us of His blessing during times of transition.

Change may be scary and will likely push you out of your comfort zone, but this should not deter you. During this time, you should be in prayer, fully relying on God, meditating on His Word daily and preparing for the blessing of sharing the Gospel with new people that God puts in your path each day.

Posted by Jay Roe with
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From 1968 to 2001 a friendly voice entered many of our homes, welcoming us to his neighborhood. Mr. Rogers neighborhood was the place to be. Who wouldn’t want to live in Mr. Rogers neighborhood? Mr. Rogers with his sweater and sneakers welcomed every child that watched into his neighborhood. In a world where some of us have a neighbor who’s dog barks all night, who blows grass all over your car, who has loud parties or music playing late into the night, or the countless other ways people come up with to disturb us…Mr. Rogers presented the ideal neighbor. He had a calming voice, was friendly, welcoming, and kind to all he encountered. Unfortunately, Mr. Rogers is not our neighbor and he won’t be moving in anytime soon. For that very reason, some of us live a life of isolation, away from our neighbors. We arrive home, push the button to automatically open our garage doors, pull in, and disappear into our homes. What if God placed us in our neighborhood, in our communities for more than just to live there? What if He has always wanted you to be the neighborhood Mr. Rogers…a calming voice, friendly, welcoming, and kind?

When you begin to think about the cities, towns, suburban areas we live in now, they’re obviously very different from those that people lived in when the Bible was written. While different, they still had neighbors and God speaks to the who our neighbor is and how we should treat our neighbor.

Who is my neighbor?

The answer to that question lies in Luke 10, the story of the Good Samaritan. It’s a common story but it’s the response that catches us off guard when Jesus responds to this question. Ultimately after the man was beaten and left for dead, a priest and Levite both passed the man on the road and didn’t stop to help. It was the Samaritan who stopped to help the man. Jesus response to who acted as a neighbor…the one who stopped and showed mercy. There are a few things you can easily pull out to help us think about ourselves as good neighbors. First, we have to care for those we see who have needs. As you drive through your neighborhood, do you drive by a home of someone where you know their story and you know they need a friend? Do you drive by a home that is in disrepair or they just need a helping hand? That’s the concept of the Good Samaritan, they saw a need, stopped and helped. Second, you should care for those you don’t know and sometimes are very different from you. The Samaritan was about the last person you’d expect to stop and help in that culture. This is especially the case considering the Samaritan didn’t even know the man. Think about the countless people living in your neighborhood who live a very different life, some of which you haven’t met or ever interacted with. How can you care for those who are different and those you don’t even know yet? Lastly, we have to stop, inconvenience ourselves for the benefit of others. The Samaritan likely had somewhere to be…not only did he stop to help, but he got the guy to help and lodging with an innkeeper. He even went as far as to pay for his lodging and care. We’re all busy people, it’s one of the biggest excuses all of us use flippantly to get out of about anything we don’t want to do. When is the last time you stopped and inconvenienced yourself to help someone in your neighborhood?

How important are my neighbors?

You’re familiar with the Great Commandment…Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind…and love your neighbor as yourself. It’s that whole “Love God and Love People” we talk about quite often. So, when faced with the question of how important are our neighbors…outside of loving God, that’s the next most important thing. Actually in Galatians 5:14 it says the whole law is fulfilled in the command to love your neighbor as yourself. So the question for us is, if God has placed us in a neighborhood, surrounded by people with needs and we’re supposed to love our neighbor, second only to God…how do we love our neighbors? While the physical needs are more obvious as you see a bush that needs to be trimmed, tree limbs that fell in a storm, paint that needs to be touched up…it’s the spiritual needs of the countless people that live near you that are most important.

How are you going to love your neighbor? How are you going to be the Good Samaritan…the Mr. Rogers of your neighborhood who is the calming voice, friendly, welcoming, and kind person. As you begin to look for ways to be a good neighbor, consider joining us at 6:30 PM on May 16th at the Neighborhood Bible Study Interest Meeting. No commitment necessary, but come find out how you could begin to connect with your neighbors and to begin to meet their spiritual needs.

I’ll leave you with this familiar song, as you begin to consider who your neighbor is and what you might do for them:

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,

A beautiful day for a neighbor.

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?

 

It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,

A neighborly day for a beauty,

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?

 

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you!

I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So let's make the most of this beautiful day,

Since we're together we might as well say,

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?

Won't you be my neighbor?

Won't you please,

Won't you please?

Please won't you be my neighbor?

© 1967, Fred M. Rogers

Posted by Jeremy Shirley with

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