If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. Deuteronomy 2:21
Taking care of one’s neighbor is not a very common sight to be seen. The majority of people are out for themselves and only to take care of themselves, even at the expense of others.
During the time of Moses, oxen or sheep were one of the main livelihoods of the people. It was their source of income, their help in plowing the fields and providing clothing. It was also traded for other items of need and ultimately used as a sacrifice to God.
There would be times when an ox or sheep would stray away from the owner. God had told the Israelites to not ignore it, but to immediately return it to the owner.
It is common for people to ignore the needs or property of others. Although today, most people do not use sheep or oxen for their livelihood, there are other things of value to people. People will see a neighbor’s fence falling down on the backside of the property out of normal sight. They ignore it and do not tell the neighbor anything about it.
Other times they may see something wrong in their neighbor’s property or life and will just ignore it, rather than letting the neighbor know what was seen or perceived. People are all about minding their own business, unless it affects them or it is juicy gossip.
The greatest need of any person is the need to know Jesus and receive the salvation that He offers to every believer. Most people will not say a word to the person about Jesus, because he does not want to offend the person with the gospel message. Yet, every person has the right to know.
If they have the right to get their property back, which is here today and gone tomorrow, they definitely need Jesus and the salvation He is offering them. Believers must take care of their neighbor and let them have what God wants to give them or has already allowed them to have.
Do not take anything that belongs to your neighbor, but even more so, do not keep back anything from them that can be theirs. God has salvation ready for all who believe. How can your neighbor believe, if you do not tell him.
Take time today to care for your neighbor.
I pray today that you will have God’s love for your neighbor; that you will not take anything that belongs to your neighbor; that you withhold anything that belongs to your neighbor; that you will take care of your neighbor as God takes care of you.
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9
In this final chapter of Peter’s book, he talks about people in the last days joking about the coming of Jesus. He warns that in the last days many will ask where Jesus is and why He has not yet come.
Now you are reminded to remember that God is a patient God. In reality God is outside of time because He always was and always will be. Time means very little to Him. In this way you are told that with God a thousand days are like a day and vice versa.
As a finite human being, time means a lot. Sixty years are a long time when the average lifespan is only about 80 years. Today people want everything faster and faster. When you boot up a computer and it takes 2 minutes to boot up, you get upset because your friend has one that boots up in 1 minute. Neither time is really that much time in light of the 525,600 minutes in one year, but at the moment it is a long time.
God is patient because He does not want anyone to perish. Jesus came to the earth to save every person. How valuable is one person’s soul? Jesus died for that one person so it must have a very high value. If this is correct, why not be patient to save that soul?
All around you today there will be people trying to tell you that Jesus will never come back if He has not done so by now; that Jesus failed in His promise because He has not come back yet. Look at the whole Bible and see all of the promises of God. See how many of them have already been fulfilled. Keep this in mind when you start to question about Jesus ever returning again. Even more so, keep it in mind, when you see all the evil going on around you and it looks like God has lost the battle.
As you wait for the return of Jesus seek opportunities to tell someone else about Him. Seek to bring more people to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Use this time to build His kingdom, just as He is doing. Do not be discouraged. Do not lose faith. Just as the one minute really means nothing in a year, neither does a thousand years in an eternity.
I pray that today that God will give you His patience; that God will open doors for you to be His witness; that God will draw many more people to Him through you; and that you will not lose faith in His promise to return.