Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30 - You Did It for Me

Today's Reading:
Daniel 5:1-31
Matthew 25:1-30
Proverbs 20:15-24
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Matthew 25:34-40
34"Then 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.' .

While leaving a restaurant some time ago, 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 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. As he spoke, I looked him directly in the eye and suddenly realized I saw Jesus. I gave him some money.

Response and Action:
If 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.

O 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
16 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.

Generous Justice
by Timothy Keller

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