Dare to Love

(Matthew 25: 34-40, NLT) 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.’

Yesterday, while driving with two of my good friends, Leslie and Kelley, we saw a homeless man by the side of the road with a dog.  He was holding a cardboard sign that read, “Need Help.  God Bless.”  He smiled, despite his obvious situation of destitution and despair, and he lovingly patted his dog.  Leslie looked over at him and said, “You know, that really hurts my heart,”  which sparked a short dialogue amongst us about how we, as Christians, respond to this type of circumstance.  In that moment, we all felt bad that we had no cash on us to give to him, and Kelley mentioned that she wanted to make up some bags of necessities to keep in her car to hand out in situations just like this.  I mentioned that I try not to give out cash if possible, but instead I will sometimes buy food and drinks to take back to someone like that.  Leslie admitted that, for her, it is sometimes hard to know whether or not someone like that is truly in need, to which I agreed.  Then Kelley said something that stuck to me.  She said, “You know I wonder that too, but then I remind myself that it’s not our job to decide if someone is in need.  It’s our job to respond to them,”  to which Leslie responded, “Exactly.  What if that was Jesus?”  I was instantly reminded of the above scripture and I quoted aloud verse 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.’ 

Yesterday afternoon I wasn’t even thinking about this blog post.  Honestly, I hadn’t even sat down to read the daily scriptures for this date to decide what to write.  So when I did finally look at it, I couldn’t help but smile when this passage was there.  Okay God, I see what you’re doing here. 

We are too quick to pass judgement on the lowly and poor.  We pick and choose who we want to help…deeming only a select few worthy of our charity, based on assumptions and appearances.  We are hesitant to give our hard-earned cash because of the chance that it might be spent on an addiction.  We are in such a hurry all the time, that we don’t think to take a few moments extra to grab something to eat and drink and take it back to someone who is begging for food.  We don’t respond anymore.  We think someone else will do it.  We think, “Get a job like everyone else.”  We think so many things…some of it true, some far from it.  And the problem with all of this thinking?   It just isn’t good enough!  We are thinking more and doing less, and God did not call us to think about loving others in His name.  He has called us to respond in love without question.  And that is how the light and love of God will shine through the darkness of this world.  That is how we bring honor and glory to His name.  Love.  Always love.

Feed the hungry,

    and help those in trouble.

Then your light will shine out from the darkness,

    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

(Isaiah 58:10)

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for Godly friendships, because as Your word says, “iron sharpens iron.”  Thank you for the gentle correction that sometimes comes in the form of a friend’s point of view.  As Your children, may we always work together to radiate Your love.  In a dark, sinful world, we can only be seen if we allow your love to shine through u.  So, Lord, help me become brighter and brighter, honoring You in all that I do.  Amen. 

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