Tuesday, August 22, 2017

When Did We?

"...Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and we gave you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or need clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" Matt. 25:37.

Both the sheep and the goats were baffled. When had they encountered the Lord and had opportunity to minister to Him? Jesus' description of receiving personal attention revolved around mundane tasks. He didn't mention pulpit ministry, evangelistic crusades, bible studies, worship services or marathon all-night prayer meetings. These are all good when the motive behind them is right and God is directing the action. But, none of these made the list.

The goats couldn't honestly recall any such events because there weren't any. Maybe, if Jesus showed up with neon arrows pointing Himself out, they'd have responded...perhaps. He was present in the hungry, thirsty, sick, naked and imprisoned, but to the goats, they and the Lord were invisible. Why?

The goats may have been preoccupied with their own situation, which is easy enough to do. If they were looking for good returns on capital outlays, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself, these categories have nothing to offer.

Just as flummoxed were the sheep. They too missed the Lord when they ministered to the needy. Not interested in gaining recognition or favor, the sheep did what appeared to be the only logical response to the situation. They gave, and with no strings attached.

Both groups were repaid in kind for their investments. The goats gave nothing and received nothing in return. The sheep on the other hand were rewarded with more than then cost of any personal inconvenience suffered.

What strikes me most is the sheep's utter amazement that they'd been ministering to Jesus all along. They're actions weren't spectacular, but were the humane response to someone in a jam. They may have assumed that anyone faced with someone in crisis would have acted the same way. They were mistaken.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that our life counts for anything, let alone making an impact for the Kingdom of God. Most believers won't have their names recorded in the annuals of church history. Our lives and contributions will be recognized and remembered by few if at all. We'll come and go and hardly anyone will notice...but. The One Who matters doesn't miss a thing. To Him, little things mean a lot.

How about you? When was the last time you may have unconsciously ministered to Jesus? Can you make kindness and generosity a game of Treasure Hunt? How often can you find Christ disguised as someone in need that you can help? This can be the most fun you'll ever have.

p.s. Hope you enjoyed the vintage Keith Green video. I date myself by including it here.

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