Giving to those in need is truly a great opportunity to follow the greatest commandments – to love God and to love your neighbor. Helping someone who is navigating through a difficult season should be high on our priority list as a follower of Jesus. Jesus had and still does have such a heart for the poor and lost.
Imagine your family took a trip abroad. And on your trip your child was lost for days to fend for themselves on the streets of this foreign place. How much would it mean to you for someone to be kind and loving to your child? How much would it mean to you for someone to go out of their way to feed and clothe your child? Really consider, how much would that mean to you.
What if your child was taken by the enemy into a dark place. How much would it mean to you for someone to risk their life for the welfare of your child? Would it not feel like they were doing a great service for both you and your child?
Not too far away from where you sit this moment, you will find those he loves, some of his children, hurting from the effects of the weather, depressed, perhaps drunk or on drugs, living with no hope – and our prisons are full. Is it possible if your child was lost in a foreign country – they may too come face to face with one or more of these things? Is it possible they may eventually make a bad decision and find themselves in prison?
What would you say to that person who had the opportunity to help your child but didn’t – how about the one that did?
Here’s what Jesus said in Matthew 25:
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? 38When 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, 43 I 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.”
Be encouraged not discouraged! God loves you and through his Word he is calling you to act. You don’t have to wait for some special feeling to follow God in a greater way. Just look to his word, consider the above, he has much in store for us to do! And he’s with us to the end of the age!
If your child was lost and you had the opportunity to hug the person who fed and loved your child, how much more will God hug you. Feeling the Lords presence and joy can be overwhelming when you step out in faith for those he loves (and that’s everyone). And the Joy of the Lord is our strength. May the Lord’s love, his joy, be with you this Christmas season!
For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son. In love… In Christ… Give.