Me and My Neighbor

From a general perspective, we also live in relationship with the broader society around us. Our relationships extend beyond our family and circle of friends. We have been planted by God in our society as well. We have both a responsibility and an opportunity to engage our society as followers of Jesus. The Sermon on the Mount offers instruction to us as to how we are to conduct ourselves as citizens of God’s Kingdom.

I’ve observed a new generation of Christians who feel empowered. Restorers exhibit the mind-set, humility, and commitment that seem destined to rejuvenate the momentum of the faith. They have a peculiar way of thinking, being, and doing that is radically different from previous generations. Tell others about Jesus is important, but conversion isn’t their only motive. Their mission is to infuse the world with beauty, grace, justice, and love . . . I call them restorers because they envision the world as it was meant to be and they work toward that vision. Restorers seek to mend earth’s brokenness. They recognize that the world will not be completely healed until Christ’s return, but they believe that the process begins now as we partner with God. Through sowing seeds of restoration, they believe others will see Christ through us and the Christian faith will reap a much larger harvest.
         – Gabe Lyons, The Next Christians: How a Generation is Restoring the Faith, Doubleday, 2010, p. 47.

FOCAL PASSAGE: Matthew 5-7

Daily Readings
The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ most famous speech. It contains a vast array of teachings on numerous topics that offer His followers sound instruction for living. These instructions are for our daily lives. We live as Christians in the midst of a broader culture. As citizens of the Kingdom of God, our lives should reflect the values of that Kingdom. Jesus offers us insight into how that should look.

Monday:                                Matthew 5:1-26
Tuesday:                               Matthew 5:27-48
Wednesday:                       Matthew 6:1-18
Thursday:                            Matthew 6:19-34
Friday:                                   Matthew 7


  1. What are the best strategies for the Church when it engages the culture?
  2. What does the Bible indicate is the will of God for His creation? Does He desire for it to be restored?
  3. On a more local level, how should we live in relationship with our society? What are our obligations? What should we concern ourselves with? How much responsibility do we have?