Who Is My Neighbour?

We have all had good neighbors and bad neighbors. What has been your best and worst neighbour experience? Well, Jesus was once asked a question about who a neighbor is.

Read: Luke 10:25-37

What is interesting about this story is that it was not the religious leader or the highly involved church person who came to this guy’s rescue, but someone considered to be on the fringes spiritually. Jews were openly hostile to Samaritans and considered them foreigners and imposters. The Samaritan went to the injured man, bandaged his wound, poured oil and wine on them, put him on his donkey, took him to an inn, took care of him and paid the innkeeper to look after him.

What do we learn about grace from the good Samaritan?

  1. He felt compassion and acted on his compassion without concern for his own well being
  2. He had to get his hands dirty: The samaritan had to touch him, pick him up and assess his injuries.
  3. He took a risk: He shared his life in a way that made him transparent and vulnerable.

My one point in this message is that real grace takes risks.

What are some of the situations you have not shown compassion to those around you? Why do you find it hard to get involved? How do you respond to those around you in situations of divorce, addictions, depression, mental illnesses? The Christian response to almost every situation is I will remember you in prayer. It will take more than prayer.

On the other hand those who have issues need to get to the place where we say ‘I am struggling with this and I really really need help’. Many of us are too afraid and too ashamed to allow others to help us. So we have learned how to hide our wounds and bleeding so well. Authentic people need to bare their hearts and say this is where the Lord has brought me from. Whatever you are struggling with, let us walk together.

The church has been a great source of hurt to many people. Many of us pastors have behaved like the priest and levite; Rushing to fulfill our obligations at the temple at the expense of helping those who have fallen by the wayside. For my own self and for our team, allow me to apologize for the times you may have felt like you were brushed aside and not listened to by me or by any of our pastors here. I also want to say it will take all of God’s people caring for one another to get the job done.

REAL GRACE TAKES RISKS

We had an interview with Mr. Ibrahim Gathungu – founder of i-Stopped campaign that helps men and women in addictive habits to find a solution through practical ways such as counselling, rehabilitation material and mentoring. http://istopped.wordpress.com 

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21 Responses to “Who Is My Neighbour?”

  1. mamacita Says:

    Pastor linda is the woh!!!!yaani she just ministers to my heart.That was an amazing sermon right there.I learnt that real grace takes risks and that is what am going to take up with me for His grace to be sufficient.Mr Ibrahim bravo man am proud of you and am sure God is also proud of you.God bless

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  2. Hey Mamacita,
    Glory belongs to God for giving me the courage to take about the journey with boldness. He is great.

    Pastor Linda,
    God bless you abundantly and may He deliver many more people from the issues they are going through in life through Mavuno and the blessed staff team.

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    • Thanks Ibrahim for sharing God’s faithfulness in your life, i had the same issues, addict to pornography for years until you prayed for me during our Mizizi retreat in November last year… To God be the glory

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    • Blemished Says:

      So…umm…you’re brave…but…I feel like I’m not strong enough. Been trying to quit pornography and masturbation for 3 years now and I feel like I’ve actually LOST ground, let alone gaining even an inch. I’ve had Pastor S pray for me, talked to someone about praying for me and done so many other things but…I fail even worse after stopping each time. I feel like I’m escalating. It’s to a point I don’t think I can even open up about it now as I could before to get help. My constant fight nowadays is to stop myself from believing that I’m beyond redemption, not even the problem itself.

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    • Blemished Says:

      Been starting and stopping for 3 years…3 YEARS. 😥 😥

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    • Blemished Says:

      And I’m a chic to make it worse. (no offense to guys…It’s just all more scandalous when it’s a chic)

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    • Philip Says:

      This goes to Blemish,

      You’ll be surprised at how many people have been addicted, for not three years, but more than 15 years and yet they were redeemed.

      You’ll be surprised by people who were addicted to the extent of watching porn for three days without sleeping, yet they were finally redeemed.

      King David slept with Uriah’s wife and went ahead to kill Uriah, but God still forgave him. Saul persecuted Christians yet God forgave him. Jesus Himself taught us forgiveness and forgave many people including the adulterous woman.

      First of all always ask for forgiveness whenever you allow to fall into the hands of lust, and always ask for God’s redemption.

      This redemption can sometimes come when you least expect it. God is not the God of righteous people only but also the God of sinners. As He watches the righteous, He also watches the sinners. My advice to you is that always pray, whether you do it or not, don’t give up praying even when you don’t see God’s work in you, for it took Abraham 80 years before he got a child with Sarah. I cannot claim to know how God answers our prayer but what I can claim to know is that He answers our prayer.

      Just pray, it might take hours, days, months or years but what I can assure you is that one day you’ll look behind and you’ll agree with me that God is there watching you and He’ll redeem you. He can do it directly or through other people.

      You can also tell people to pray for you. Even if you fear telling them what problem you have, just tell them to pray for for your problems. God knows what it is and He’ll listen to their prayers and act on it.

      Jesus stressed so much about prayers so that we don’t fall into temptation.Please pray.

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  3. Jerry Mungama Says:

    Thanks Pastor Linda for getting out of the comfort zone of “correct” preaching and messages. To be very frank, some of the reasons why i sometimes feel that even though the auditoriums are filled to capacity yet a handful are ministered to, is because, no one wants to step on anyones toes and we’re busy playing Church, ie looking good and holy on Sunday, but being impossible to be around or showing no compassion to others, right in the car park. Please note that i am not judging anyone, just pointing out that we’ve gotten the systems, procedures and even the look down to a T perfectly. As in you attend 1st service (not the 12 for late sleepers), are in an LG, are doing Ombi, volunteer here and there, but inherently make no attempt to know the Lord and seek His purpose for you on this earth. On the flipside is our wonderful pastoral team that is doing amazing things, chasing amazing goals and i think doing a fine job of it. Lakini, ever tried to get a chance to meet one on one with any of our pastors? or ever sought to have a real discussion with the LG leadership, more often than not, they are really busy or give half baked responses almost to get rid of you. Here i am speaking from experience and if your experience has been different then thank God. I propose that as congregants we must be able to access our leadership, because often the trickle down effect of talking to your LG leader or going to the prayer tent elicits a short term solution to what could be a major spiritual challenge. I was like Ibrahim in the sense that i was struggling with just being a good person in the sense of not drinking, not tithing etc..and during Mizizi, through a number of discussions with my LG leader i got saved, then without any Christian foundation, my leader said i’ll hook you up with some mentors or guides to help your walk, that never happened, she even stopped picking my calls, claiming work etc. I tried the pastoral team but could not get anyone to talk to, so i immersed myself in LG and began a solo walk which i am proud to say has made me what i am.My question is, even if we had a pastoral hour every day, for some face time with our pastors, even as LG leaders, perhaps we’d not be engaging in “plastic” LG prayer requests, which by the way sometimes are done so as to complete the LG reports, which i believe someone else compiles to update someone, who eventually gives a report that YES, indeed LG is working and they are meeting. Pastor Linda’s message is actually deeper than it may have appeared, we need to take a step back and ask, why have we become comfortable Christians? I am convinced that if each one of us, just semad, let me do ONE thing this month as a step of faith towards enriching my Christian walk and giving of myself, not because of LG, Church pals, or whatever ministry i serve in, but because this is the will of God. I promise you, Mavuno will be a better Church and some of the perceived struggles would disappear. For example, post your thoughts on the blog. Show up early for the pre service prayer session, go to the prayer tent and pray, give your life to Christ..get out of the comfort zone! Yesterday, as we were being asked to talk about good & bad neighbours, did it occur to anyone, if somebody somewhere would mention you? As a good or bad neighbour? Your future is not in the clothes you wear, your boyfriend, girlfriend or your car, your house, your pals of 16 years; its about connecting with God, laying down your life and doing the things your petty mind says you “don’t like doing”. To conclude, Pastor Linda, i support your message, your delivery and your brave approach to asking the hard questions. Lets all be like the Samaritan, it is inherently in us and the Lord wants to use us to make a difference in this world. Not to keep score in the things that appear to be what a good Christian should do, but are truly meaningless in the pursuit of growing God’s kingdom. This i truly mean, May the Lord Bless you all to find your footing and follow His word.

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    • BLESSED PETER Says:

      Hi Jerry. As i read your story, i really felt you.As much as i want to avoid using the common ‘i will keep u in my prayer’ comment, i have prayed for you. But as i did two things came up in my heart to share with you.
      1. Luke 22:31-32-Jesus speaking to Simon as he was washing the disciples feet,’Simon,Simon,listen! Satan has asked excessively that you be given up to him that he might sift you like grain,But i have prayed especially for you,that your faith may not fail; and when you yourself have been turned again,strengthen and establish your brethren.’

      I have made the same prayer for you,because Satan’s main agenda is to destroy you n stop u from advancing your God purpose-having impact on your generation.So stand firm in faith regardless of the people around you.God is the one who has all answers.
      2.1 samuel 30:6-‘David was greatly distressed,for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved,each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.’ Pls read the whole chapter. What do you do when 600 grown men weeping for their families turn their wrath to you ? Our strength does not come from encouragement of the brethren but Faith in God.
      So my brother stand firm and wait n trust on God, he will see you through.Also read Jer 17:5
      PRAYER IS OUR ULTIMATE WEAPON (W.O.M.D)
      BARAKA

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  4. Thank you for yet another inspiring sermon Pastor Linda. The sermon brought memories of a young Kenyan, Ken Githinji who rescued our late nephew Kenneth Munene Mathiu after a road accident on Langata Road close to Sunshine High School some weeks ago. The young man had the courage and presence of mind, to stop and gently remove Ken who somehow had ended up in the back of the vehicle with the rear seat lying on his head as he gasped for breath. He took all his valuables i.e. phone, wallet, cards etc. into his safe custody, called an ambulance and escorted Ken to Nairobi Hospital where he was admitted. As if that was not enough he regularly visited and comforted Ken in hospital. The young man put many of us Nairobians to shame as most of us are in mortal fear of stopping at accident scenes especially at night. Although our nephew eventually “passed on” we remain eternally grateful to this compassionate and caring Kenyan. People of his courage and character remind us that there is still hope for Kenya. If there was an award for Samaritan or good neighbor I would vote for the nomination of Ken Githinji.
    DAUDI MWENDA. P.O.BOX 24943-00502 NAIROBI. CELL: 0722 154 722

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  5. The sermon left me in tears because am among those who are bleeding on the inside and if the lord will not untie me soon .Is possible to get somebody mature and understand what rejection is to walk with me this is my no 0729085220

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    • Hey Kelvin,
      Pole sana on the tough journey. You will pull out of this. If God did it for me, he can do it for you. I will call you for prayer man.

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  6. Pst L, thanks for the great message..Ibrahim, you are a courageous man of God, may you be sustained.
    Pst L, i wish to thank you for talking about walking with others as good neighbours. putting ourselves in their shoes and encouraging them in the earthly walk as the good samaritan did.
    i must say i have gone thr’ it all in the last few yrs…having gone thr’ some bitter divorce and later having to deal with the after effects….it’s only taken God’s grace.
    there are a few times that we talk about divorce, depression….they are “dont-touch” issues for alot of x-tians.
    i have gone thr’ it… i have experienced my dota struggle with depression….pls pray with me.
    like Ibrahim, i know i will overcome….we need to walk with people going thr’ all these “dont-mention” issues in life.

    i am encouraged to keep walking, and i have made up my mind to join mizizi…keep praying, i will keep the faith.

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    • Es Kay,
      I hear you. Yes, divorce is perhaps the most traumatic event a human being can experience/ endure. A major problem is that many of our leaders and counselors are unable to comprehend and respond to it fully and subsequently empathize as they have neither experienced nor holistically understood its devastating effects. When this is compounded with the stigma that society attaches to divorce a person undoubtedly feels abandoned. Kenyan society has a way of offering simplistic solutions to marital disharmony and expecting couples to “live happily ever after” without addressing the complex root causes or fundamental issues underlying the marital dispute eventually blaming one party, usually the female for failing to reconcile. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the “guilt trap” especially when your conscience is clear that you are the victim. Bear in mind also that divorce is NOT an action but a PROCESS that may take many years to unravel. One needs to sift through mixed feelings & emotions running through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression and finally arriving at acceptance (though not necessarily in that order). A support network like a life group can act like a parachute to bring you slowly, gently&lovingly back to your feet. You may also want to read books by Dr. James Dobson, a Christian Counselor and founder of “Focus on the Family or Rabbi Harold Kushner”. I recommend two books, “Love must be Tough “and “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”. I have absolutely no doubt that ultimately you will come out of this experience a better and stronger person. A review of your past will reveal that the most instructive moments of your life have been painful. There is almost always no learning experience in the “good times.” God bless.
      DAUDI MWENDA.

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  7. Wa! I felt convicted yesterday with that good samaritan parable, all along i had been thinking i always played the good samaritan role but yesterday something went off and i realized how i leave people wounded when there is a lot i can do about it… Lord help me be real as i experience true grace, may i live it out…

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  8. praise be to God pastor linda for ministering to me,i dont know where to start but am torn part right now i cant think straight ,anyway i got job with a Construction company which was helping in building my unties houses and i worked there for one month and i was not being paid but since i never wanted trouble i switched contractors but these one was paying and come teusday 14th my unty planned with the house help then they accused then i was sacked rigt now am in pain and i rely need help am going Crazy pliz help me and pray for me.

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  9. Thanx for the sermon,i do come to mavuno when in Nairobi.Am one of those people who do not share there bleeding.inside me am really struggling.i need a job,i need my relationship to work….Am in such pain that even now as i write this am really hurting inside…i need prayers and a close confidant.put me in your prayer.please
    Ave at times reached that point wea i contemplate suicide….May the good Lord bless your work.

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  10. mercy ndegwa Says:

    ciiku,
    The devil is a liar! God knows it all. Read his word again n again n claim his promises. Yes we shall experience hardships but he will be with us. Do you believe in God n his promises??? Kindly visit the prayer tent for a prayer of agreement. Do not depart from the ways of the lord as better is a day in his courts than a thousand elsewhere! I will pray for healing.
    He is the God of
    mankind what is too difficult for him?
    You r loved and blessed.
    Call me on 0721372015

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  11. As the world gets “modern and sophisticated” people seem to get more independent even from God. There are many more who are hurting silently than ever before. We really need God,s manifestation in humility and total submission to Him in order to experience true healing.Thank you Lord for your message through Pst. Linda. God richly bless and continue using you.

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  12. To Es Kay

    I feel you sister and i can imagine the pain of separating from someone you had committed to and the stigma that comes with it.

    I would recommend that you take a course called Alabastron which is a women’s forum run by a Mavunite!

    This course will help you come to a complete healing through dealing with your real issues and the pain-you will be able to first forgive yourself and the persons who have hurt you.

    If you need more info-please attend the Open day for alabastron on 11th June at St Andrews from 3pm or write to them through talktous@alabastron.org

    I have done it and i know how much it will sort you out-however,at the end of the day we all loooove you and God loves you more and he will help u n your daughter through this!

    Bless you

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