Bible Reading: Matthew 25:34-40
When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!Matthew 25:40
I ONCE SPENT a summer teaching at Arrowhead Springs, Campus Crusade’s former headquarters down in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California. During that summer, my family and I lived in Blue Jay, a little town up in the mountains beside beautiful Lake Arrowhead. So every day I drove down the mountain twice-once in the morning and then again after lunch.
It’s hot in the San Bernardino Valley during the summer, with temperatures often breaking the 100-degree mark. During my trips up and down the mountain, I often saw cars pulled over to the side of the steep, winding road to the summit-hoods open, steam belching from their radiators. It was soon apparent to me that my teaching ministry for God was pretty hollow if I didn’t do something to help the poor stranded motorists. All my talk about loving God was meaningless if I didn’t show love for these people in need.
So I came up with a plan. I kept four large water jugs filled and stowed them in my trunk. Whenever I came across an overheated car on my daily drive on the mountain, I pulled over and offered to fill the radiator with water. People were overjoyed at the offer and grateful for the help. Once the radiator was full, I offered a copy of my book More Than a Carpenter and talked to the motorists about Christ. It was one of the best summers of ministry I have ever experienced.
Love isn’t an option for Christians. It’s a command. God is love, and people born of God must express his love. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35).
Love always goes two directions at once. When you love people in Christ’s name, you are also loving God. Jesus taught that when you minister to anyone in need of love and care, you are ministering to him (see Matthew 25:34-40). And when you truly love God, you will also inevitably love people. Like John wrote, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen? And God himself has commanded that we must love not only him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too” (1 John 4:20-21).
You can’t get around it: Love is part of your life as a Christian. Anyone who doesn’t love both God and people dares not take the name Christian.
REFLECT: What obvious, practical thing can you do to share God’s love with people? What is right within your reach?
PRAY: Sometimes you might be blind to clear opportunities to show love. Ask God to open your eyes.