Saturday, March 24, 2018

Extended reading: none – you had a lot to read yesterday!

Matthew 25:31-40

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. 33 He 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, 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, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

When I read this portion of scripture, I realize the completeness of our transformation from hearers of the Word to doers of the Word. Where does this unselfish and un-self centered life come from? Are we doing these things (and it is not an all-encompassing list) because we don’t want to be “goats”? Are we doing these things because we want to be recognized, rewarded, approved? Are we doing it because this is what God requires and we want to be obedient and pleasing to our Farther. We have to become imitators of Jesus. He was self-less, even to dying on the cross for you and me. When we truly “put on Christ” (Gal 3:27) we take on His nature and are motivated by the love the Holy Spirit fills us with. We grow in compassion, mercy, tenderness, and kindness. We look on the afflictions of others and weep and grieve with them because of the tender heart God has given us. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of you, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” (Ez 36:26)

When the Son of Man comes in His glory and he separates the people one from another, He will look upon our hearts. What will He see? Will He see stone? Will He see a new heart? Only we can make that choice.

 

Prayer

“I want to be changed by You, O Lord, I want my heart to be made new. I avail myself to Your grace to be changed. Take away my old heart of stone, make me pliable as You mold me and shape me into a vessel of honor and then fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear what You are saying to me, and give me the strength and courage to act on those things. Show me how to love the least of your brothers and sisters, teach me to be other-centered. You care for me as You care for them, I want to put on Christ, and be an imitator of Jesus. When others look at me, I want them to see You. “ Amen.

Leave a Reply