Loving Neighbors

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40).

 

New Hope is a collection of people who long to fulfill the second great commandment as well as the first. We know how easy it is to cultivate a religious life that avoids other people – attending worship, reading Scripture, even praying and tithing, all while ignoring the needs of neighbors, co-workers, and even family members. This sort of religion, which is worthless in the sight of God (James 1:26-27), can be a constant temptation. That is why we strive to love our neighbors, meeting both their physical and spiritual needs as God grants us the resources.

Who Are Our Neighbors?

We all have a tendency to seek out neighbors like ourselves or neighbors we think can help us in some way. While this is natural, it falls far short of God’s standard for love. Jesus’ teaching and example train us to expand our circle of neighbors. He showed love to his enemies, not simply to those who agreed with him. He showed love to the poor, not simply to those whose support and companionship he found useful.

Loving our neighbors begins with those we naturally gravitate towards, but doesn’t stop there. Our circle includes all of the residents of Lewisville and Clemmons, regardless of their wealth or poverty, their race or ethnicity, or even regardless of whether they are interested in Jesus or in joining our congregation. Our circle also includes people outside of our community – from college students at Wake Forest, to residents at Solus Christus (a residence for women recovering from drug or alcohol addiction), to the people of Japan and Namibia whom we serve through our missionaries.

What Do They Need?

Our neighbors need the same things that we need. Sometimes they need help with finances, health care, or home and auto repair. They need community – a circle of friends who know them, accept them, and help them grow and change. Most of all, they need Jesus. They need to believe in Him so that they can be forgiven and set free. To believe in him, they need to hear about Him through the Scriptures and see His power displayed in the lives of His people.

What Can Jesus Do For Them Through Us?

Jesus blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:2). He gives us natural talents and resources as well as spiritual gifts and passions. At New Hope, we are committed to helping each person in our congregation discover how their natural and spiritual gifts can be used to love their neighbors. We seek to embody the same principle as a group, taking stock of our collective resources and discovering how they can benefit all those around us. Together, we assist local families in financial need, and offer our facility to the community as a site for educational, civic, arts, and athletic functions. We also hold special events and concerts that spread the good news about Jesus, and support the church worldwide through financial gifts and missions trips. We invite you to come and discover how Jesus has blessed you, and how He can make you a blessing through the life and service of our congregation.