20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
1 John 4:20
Many of us say “I love you Lord” everyday during our quiet time, but if that love is not extended to your brother who is right next door, then it is empty. Love is needed right next door. Once Jesus told His disciples a parable saying that the day would come when He would tell some people that He was hungry and they gave Him no food; He was thirsty and they gave Him no drink; He was a stranger and they did not take Him in; He was naked and they did not clothe Him; He was sick and in prison and they did not visit Him. They would tell Him that they never saw Him, and He would then tell them that, “In as much as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me” (Matthew 25:45). In effect, you show that you love Him in the way you express your love towards people who are right next door to you.
The interesting thing is that you may not find these people where you expect to see them. Somebody whom the enemy has stolen so much from is right next door to you. Somebody who had her childhood stolen by the enemy is right next door. Somebody who never knew a mother’s love is right next door. There is somebody next door to you who needs restoration. There is somebody who is going through all the motions: coming to church, holding a big Bible, praying out loudly in tongues and probably sits next to you – yet that person is someone whom the enemy has beaten and battered in life, and is dying slowly on the inside.
If you are going to minister the love of God, you must learn to ignore how well dressed and confident people might look on the outside. Some of the people with the greatest need for restoration may not even be in want financially. Somebody who the “holy and righteous Christian” will not touch is right next door. Do you see that person? Will you show agape love? People have issues coming from their past that are holding them down, and they need somebody sensitive enough to follow the leading of the Spirit of God and show them unconditional love.
Confession: I love people, and I demonstrate the love of God where it is needed – right next door.