Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Matthew 25

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; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Matthew 25:35-40
Some, and probably most, of the life-changing ministry that is performed each day is done outside of the walls of the church by people in the natural course of their lives.  When we are ministers as Christ has called us to be, ministry is not just something that we schedule or perform, it is the outflow of Christ within us.  Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 reveal that He sees ministry to the needy of this world as ministry to Him. 
The following story reveals that simply allowing the spirit of Christ flow through us in our daily relationships can have eternal consequences.  We may not see what we do as being anything special but it certainly can be.
Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy's name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, that he was having a lot of trouble with other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend.
They arrived at Bill's house first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, and then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally their long awaited senior year came. Three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.
Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. "Do you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?" asked Bill. "You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn't want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother's sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see Mark, when you picked up my books that day, you did a lot more. You saved my life." 

Is this a true story?  I really cannot verify it from my experience.  What I do know is that I have heard from many individuals who recite stories very similar from their own experience.  Jesus never was, and never will be interested in the grandiose religious things we fill our lives with. Rather He is concerned with the "least" of things you and I do.  God may have someone in your path today who has the need of someone to care about them personally.  Watch for these Divine Appointments.  You may be ministering to Jesus.

Scripture to Claim:

He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. Proverbs 14:31

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