Sunday, August 21, 2016

Next door as it is in Heaven-living out God's kingdom in your neighborhood

This book by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco is all about empowering you to transform your neighborhood for the glory of God. The book can be summarized in this quote, "...we are seeking to give vision to what can happen when heavenly minded people determine to do earthly good in the places they live, work, and play" p 61. This book provides motivation and Biblical reasoning on the why's and how to's of hospitality. It was convicting for me, especially since we have recently moved into a new neighborhood. Perhaps our family can just start off on the right foot. 

The authors, friends and ministry leaders, Ford and Brisco address some of the reasons or excuses we choose not be the aroma of Christ. One of them is that American culture has undergone some dramatic shifts in terms of isolation and detachment. We tend to live as nomads and fail to establish "roots." They also believe that most Americans have resigned to pursing the "American Dream" at the expense of losing connectivity with people in general, but especially the people in our very own neighborhood. At the heart, they believe that most people truly do want to know their neighbors; the problem is that it doesn't just happen, we need to make it happen. So then many people give the excuse of "When?" They address that in a chapter about creating margin. Or "How?" They recommend reviewing your calendar on a weekly basis, do not schedule evening meetings, walk/stroll your neighborhood often with the idea to engage individuals along the way and lastly, unplug from electronics occasionally and ask God, "what is Your agenda for me, for here, for now?"

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation."
As Christians we are "in Christ" and His goal/mission is reconciliation. So what are you doing to live this out in your neighborhood?

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.