Bible Reading: Matthew 25:35-40
When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me! Matthew 25:40
EVERY MORNING you leap out of bed and excitedly ask yourself who needs your support today. Once you sprained your arm at school from waving it so hard to volunteer to help your teacher. And you’re so eager to lend a hand that your parents have put a lid on your constant offer to carry out the garb age-for the whole block. That’s you, right?
Actually, most of us need a kick of motivation and compassion to support others. The apostle James must have run into some people who were lacking in the compassion department, because he wrote: “Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, ‘Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well’-but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” (James 2:15-16).
So how do you get enthused to support the needy people around you?
Well, how would you feel if the friend who needed your support was Jesus himself? Would that spark your motivation? Imagine leaving the home of a friend you have just helped. Someone taps you on the shoulder. You tum around and see Jesus.
He says, “Hey-thanks for taking the time to help me. Your compassion and support mean a lot to me.” Would that make your mind explode? And-get this-what if you knew you would get that same awe-inspiring response every time? Would you be more swiftly motivated to support your friends?
According to Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus is looking for his followers to provide loving service to others. He could have said something like, “I was behind on my homework, and you helped me catch up. My parents told me to clean out the attic, and you helped me get the job done. I had to baby-sit all day Saturday, and you came over for the afternoon just to keep me company during the kids’ naps.” Whenever you serve a friend, Jesus applauds as if it were done to him.
But when you ignore an opportunity to support someone in need, it’s like you failed to help Jesus. In Matthew 25:42-45, Jesus could have said something like, “I needed help decorating for the youth group party, but you said you couldn’t be bothered. I asked you to help support me financially on a short-term missions project, but you said you were saving up for a new sound system. I needed a ride to church on Sunday, but you wanted to sleep in.”
Whatever you do or don’t do, you do to Jesus. Or not.
REFLECT: When you realize your actions will directly affect Jesus, does that rev up your desire to help others?
PRAY: Ask God today to give you a greater heart of compassion for those who need your help and support.