Monday, January 16, 2017

The Least of These

Chuckle: "Let's face it. Traveling just isn't as much fun when all the historical sites are younger than you are."
Quote: “The key to overcoming aloneness and a feeling of uselessness is to step outside yourself by helping others who are truly needy. --Ezra Taft Benson
"Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40 NIV).
How do you feel when you walk past a homeless person on the street who is hungry, ragged, and perhaps suffering from mental illness or addiction? Do you see this person as someone to be avoided at all cost or as an opportunity to be of service to that person and to your Lord? Does it make you uncomfortable to be around such people? Jesus does not call us to be comfortable but to help others.
In His earthly ministry, Jesus showed a special concern for the neediest of people. They touched His heart deeply and He expects us to be no different. See verses 31-46. Jesus could see into the deepest recesses of people's lives and detect their physical, emotional, or spiritual needs. Their need could be for food and shelter, physical healing, or spiritual healing and forgiveness. When Jesus healed physical or mental disorders, His ultimate goal was spiritual healing and forgiveness of sin.
What does Jesus mean when He says what we do for others we do for Him? I once knew a young man who ministered to street people in the heart of London. He said he was able to love and minister to the needs of the down-and-out by seeing them like this. Every time he looked into the face of a needy person, he envisioned the face of Jesus. With this attitude, everything he did was service to and for His Lord.
I think the point of this passage is the importance of meeting the needs of others regardless of who they are. We should love everyone and serve every person we can. Love of this magnitude brings glory to God and reflects our love for Him.
There is no excuse for our neglecting those with deep needs, and God does not expect us to hand this responsibility over to the government, other benevolent organizations, or even the church. No, Jesus demands our personal involvement in caring for the needs of others. "I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help" (Isaiah 58:7 NLT). When you show compassion and meet a person's need, you are both serving our Lord and representing Him by showing the same love, mercy and kindness He shows.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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