Welcome to this time of reflection on God's word and connection with Him. Before going any farther, please take some time to focus all your attention on God and his word. I encourage you to pray that God would speak to you in these next few minutes. Ask him to open your heart to His word and to open your mind to the mind of Christ. Come, Holy Spirit, come! Breathe into the heart of each person who reads this blog, the words and thoughts you have for that particular person.
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.’
The footnote in a study Bible for this section of Matthew reads as follows: "Rewards in the kingdom of heaven are given to those who serve without thought of reward. There is no hint of merit here, for God gives out of grace, not debt."
On Sunday we learned that Jesus lives on mission…until the end! We considered what "living ready" means for each of us, individually. As Jesus is preaching about the sheep and the goats, when the Son of Man comes in his glory, what he is saying to me is that I need to follow his example. In the same way that God gives out of grace, not out of a sense of debt, I am to show that same grace to those around me. God is calling us to give drink, invite into our home, clothe people, care for the sick, and visit prisoners - all out of a feeling of thankfulness for everything He has done for us. In doing all of that, I am not to be thinking of how I will be rewarded. Earlier in the book of Matthew, Jesus says, "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…".
Today, God may be asking each of us some questions: Are you truly "living ready"? Are you serving "the least of these brothers and sisters of mine"? Are we concerned about our rewards here on this earth instead of remembering that our reward is in heaven?
Take the time to ask yourself these questions. In any areas in which we are coming up short, may we continue to be encouraged and inspired by Jesus' example!