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Focus Verses: Matthew 25:34-40
the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed
by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you
since the creation of the world. 35
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and
you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me
in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you
hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'40
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one
of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' .
Some time ago, while leaving a restaurant I was approached by a homeless
person. His wife, who looked to be about eight months pregnant, was
standing on the sidewalk a short distance away. They had two small
children with them. He said he was begging for money to buy them a meal and
bus fare to Madison, WI.
His eyes had a milky glaze to
them, and I wondered if he might be on something. He told me how
embarrassed he was to be begging for money, and he really did look
like the whole pathetic situation was a crying shame to him. I
usually feel conflicted in these situations, and, honestly, I don't
think that giving to a beggar is always the right thing to do. But as he
spoke, I looked him directly in the eye and felt like I saw
Jesus. I gave him some money.
Response and Action:
I am really a follower of Jesus, I cannot be blind or closed to the
needs of others. When I see "the least of these"—the poor, the
addicted, the homeless, the hungry, the hopeless—I need to be generous
and softhearted. More than giving a few bucks here and there to the
occasional beggar who approaches me on the street, I need to be active
in my community and my church to work for solutions to the broader
issues that are causing need and poverty.
Lord, make me an instrument of your grace and a vessel of your
blessing. Give me a heart of compassion for the many people in this
world who are suffering overwhelming need. Help me to find practical
and meaningful ways to share, to love, and bless others. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: 1 John 3:16-18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for
us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If
anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no
pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let
us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
by Timothy Keller