E-votional - Who Is Your Neighbor?
February 7, 2003


But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:4-5 (NRSV)


The road was dark and the air chilly and there in the middle of the road was a lump of fur. It was big enough to do real damage, certainly I was fortunate enough to miss it. The traffic is light before 6am, and folks out at this time of the day are off to work, starting another day. But, this morning was different. This morning the car was on the side of the road. This morning, the hood was up. This morning someone jumped out from under the hood and began to wave for attention and help. Does stopping get me closer to God? Does helping a neighbor make me right with God?

Hear the Good News, the grace and salvation offered to us is given, not out of our goodness, but by the goodness of God. It is something not offered without a price however. The price was life, the price paid was the life of Christ. Jesus did not go to the cross for the ones who only stop for neighbors in need, anyone could do that. He did not suffer the cross for people who follow a law, rather He went to the Cross for all who, by faith realize salvation was something that must be given, not grabbed. Yet, as we come to understand the wondrous and transcendent gift of grace and salvation, our life changes. We become people who stop and help, not because of our own goodness, but rather by the grace, love and power of Christ working and living in us. Chris and his wife, on the way to visit their family had the terrible misfortune of hitting a beaver. The beaver cracked the radiator. 15 miles from anywhere, they needed help. Would you have driven by? 5:45am? 37 degrees? Strangers?


   Gracious Father, it is by grace that You have changed my life and offered me a different way to live and to love. Instill within my heart a passion for people, for service, and for You. Remind me that it is not my deeds that determine Your presence, but Your presence that direct my deeds. Thank You for all You have done and all You will continue to do, for I ask this through Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.