Topic: My Brothers and Sisters [October 22, 2016]
Read: Matthew 25:31–40, Bible in a Year: Isaiah 65–66; 1 Timothy 2
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40
Several years ago when the Southern California economy took a downturn, Pastor Bob Johnson saw not only difficulty but also opportunity. So he scheduled a meeting with the mayor of his city and asked, “What can our church do to help you?” The mayor was astonished. People usually came to him for help. Here was a minister offering him the services of an entire congregation.
Together the mayor and pastor came up with a plan to address several pressing needs. In their county alone, more than 20,000 seniors had gone the previous year without a single visitor. Hundreds of foster children needed families. And many other kids needed tutoring to help them succeed in school.
Some of those needs could be addressed without much financial investment, but they all required time and interest. And that’s what the church had to give.
Jesus told His disciples about a future day in which He would say to His faithful followers, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance” (Matt. 25:34). He also said they would express surprise at their reward. Then He would tell them, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (v. 40).
God’s kingdom work gets done when we give generously of the time, love, and resources He has provided us.
What lonely person is the Spirit bringing to your mind right now? Can you visit them, call, or write? What young person in your life could use some of your time and attention?
Giving isn’t just for the wealthy; it’s for all of us.
Jesus’s theme of caring for others in need was part of Paul’s teaching and practice as well. In his letters, he encouraged the Gentile churches he founded to contribute generously to help meet the needs of the church in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1–3). In fact, part of the purpose of his final journey to Jerusalem was to deliver those gifts. The call to share with those in need is still one of the ways we can impact our world. In showing love, concern, and generosity to those in need, it may provide an opportunity for sharing the message of the cross.
This message was written by Tim Gustafson [Our Daily Bread Ministries.]