by, Isam Itson III
Matthew 25:37-40 – Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
Jesus was always encouraging his disciples to honor the Father’s love for others. In this passage. How we treat others is a reflection of how we feel about God. It signifies the depth of our trust in God. If I identify deeply with God, then I will love my enemies as well as my brothers and sisters in Christ. See Luke 6:27-36; Romans 5:6-8; and 1 John 4:7-21. The writers of the gospels always emphasized Jesus’ motivation. He was moved with compassion. His heartbeat was in tune with the heart of the Father. He revealed that the righteous judge was consumed with the restoration of the lawbreaker. Jesus came to set the captives free and secure the lives of the poor, and powerless. He did it knowing that doing so would lead to his betrayal and crucifixion.
This is not the mindset I wake up with every morning. My heart is bent on getting God to work things out to my benefit. Or at least allowing me to pursue my own ambitions without interference. I forget that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to me. So I need to remind myself every day and throughout the day of how good God has been to me in sacrificing Jesus Christ for my benefit.
We have been delivered from the power of sin and death. We are now free to live for the glory of God. Now, we can surrender to the fulfillment of God’s purpose in creating us. Now we can trust the Holy Spirit to help us as we commit ourselves to honoring God’s love for others, no matter what it costs us in pride or treasure. It is so easy to get caught up in our own concerns. Then we fail to see how we can help the people around us.
Hebrews 13:1-6 is one of the scriptures I like to pray when I meditate on God’s faithfulness to me in response to my fear for the fulfillment of my own desires. “Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, the Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
1. Take moments throughout the day to meditate on God’s love for you.
2. Remember that God loves everyone the same.
3. Ask God to give you opportunities to love someone who offends you or who can do nothing for you.