There are days when I cannot give enough praise to my community of friends God has blessed me with through church and my young adult ministry. I have people in my circle that I consider closer than family because I know that without a moment of hesitation, they are truly there for me and my boys. Simple gestures like bringing me dinner late at night while I was in the hospital with my sick kid or just randomly blessing me with a gift card because it was on their heart lets me know how deep their heart for helping others runs. From the men around me that take time to hang out with my 13-year-old and show him what it looks like to be a man after God’s own heart to the moms that just share meals and laughs with all of our kids running around, this is how rich my life is.
Lately, I have thought about the degree to which I pay it forward. For those that have blessed me, would I do the same in return? My answer is absolutely. Most days I have to restrain my desire to save the world. It’s not because I have this “works” mentality, but because I genuinely believe in allowing God to use me to be a blessing to someone else. If I have a friend that has no food, I would share what I have. If I have a friend that needs money, I would give what I can. Having a servant’s heart makes me want to do for others just as a small testament to what God has done for me. I try not to pass up a chance to show someone that there are people in the world who still have the Father’s heart and reaches out to them. Even if all I have is an encouraging word to share.
When thinking of the words to write for this entry, God brought me to this passage in Matthew 25:31-46 which says:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
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, 36I 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? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
I had to stop and think about whether I would be a goat or a sheep. I thought about how most people would think they are sheep when they are really goats. How often have we passed up a chance to do something for the least of these because we were too busy to even notice them? Maybe we were too self absorbed with our own life to notice the people around us. Maybe we chose our own comfort over helping someone. Maybe we didn’t think that the pay off was worth the effort.
Whatever your reason is for not helping the least of these, check your heart behind your decisions. I’m sure we can all recount a time someone came through for us, whether it was from the kindness of their heart or a God appointed encounter. When you can, do. Even when you don’t have it to give, pray. What you do for the least of these, you do for the King.