They Are Closer Than You Think

James 2:8-9

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:

Bruce, my neighbor, sat in his wheel chair.  He had just come home from the rehab center.  Due to an aggravated case of sugar diabetes his leg had been amputated at the knee.  That was just part of his problem.  While in rehab his wife, Nancy, who seemed to be a picture of health had a heart attack.  She was rushed to the hospital.  Shortly thereafter she died.  Bruce had just come home to an empty house.

As we talked about his trouble we cried together.  Placing my hand on his shoulder I said, “Bruce, can I pray with you.”  Receiving his assent, I poured out my heart to God asking for God’s comfort and provision for my neighbor Bruce.

Is this something that is out of the ordinary for a Christian?  It should not be.  Others should be able to tell that we are Christ followers because of our love for one another, but they also should be able to tell that we are Christ followers because of our compassionate love for them.

Our mission field is normally within walking distance.  Our mission field is often the next person we meet.  To fulfill the royal law, Christ’s love must exude from our life.  It is not something we only take to church.  It is an expression of who we are in Christ.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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