Friday, March 18, 2016

Ministers to The Least of These

But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.  James 1:9-11

As we take a look at Jesus’ call to minister to the afflicted from Matthew 25, we see His identification with the poor and needy of our world.  Jesus shares His appreciation for those who will step away from their own needs and reach out to others.  This group of people is quite remarkable in the world's setting, for their beliefs are displayed by their actions.  Life for them has been radically transformed from the former life of preoccupation of self to a preoccupation with Jesus’ call on their time and resources.  In this life the "Least of These" have become important. Let's call them the "L.O.T.s"

Jesus has and continues to be concerned with the "L.O.T.s" in this life. They are people who, whether self-inflicted or by travesty of life, have become down and out. They are often viewed as "throw aways" and "burdens" of society.

Picture the scene…the down and outs, the "L.O.T.s" are roaming the streets looking for a helping hand and the calloused people of the world are walking by with pointing fingers and disgust written upon their faces.  Then one comes along who resembles Jesus. It's not the appearance, but the attitude and actions that resembles Jesus.  This one is so in love with Jesus, they have been conformed to the image of Christ Himself (Romans 8:29).  The very nature of Jesus Christ has become their nature.  In everyday moments in life they saw the best and worst in people, but it did not matter, they simply reacted as Jesus would. To them there was no other way to live but faithful.

Jesus made it clear to His disciples what following Him meant in terms of service.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35
Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest." Luke 9:48  Everyone can be great because anybody can serve.  You don't have to have a college degree to serve.  You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace and a soul empowered by love.

Remember the question by Shakespeare, "To be or not to be?".  Are we going "to be" like Jesus or are we going to be measured with those deciding "not to be" like Jesus?  In reality, if you are a Christian who has confessed and committed your life to Christ, there really is no choosing.  You are being conformed into the image of Christ by the Father. (But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18) So today maybe your decision needs to be to allow more of Jesus to come through your life.

Scripture to Claim:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

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