Most of us have great intentions.
We want to be a good friend. We want to be kind to strangers. We want to help those in need. We want to be there for those who are hurting. Our goal is to be a blessing to others – unselfish and giving – and many of us are! We enjoy volunteering at the church fundraiser. We feel good when we’re able to help one of our struggling friends. We thank the Lord for the opportunity to share with someone less fortunate.
But what do we do when these opportunities arise at an inconvenient time?
What do we do when we’ve had a long day and a friend calls needing someone to talk to? How obedient are we when we have eight dollars in our pocket – for lunch – and God tells us to give it to the shabbily dressed man on the sidewalk? How eager are we to help with a project that will provide absolutely no recognition? Will we still respond with the same Christ like character as before?
Giving of our time, money, and resources is not always easy, in fact many times it’s a sacrifice! It might hurt to give our last eight bucks to a stranger when we’re not sure what it will go to buy. It’s not always easy to listen to someone else’s problems when you feel like you have a pile of your own already. And it sure isn’t easy to invest hours into a project that will offer you no tangible reward.
So why do it?
“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, 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.” Matthew 25:35 – 36 NIV
“What?” they reply, “When… when did we see you in these circumstances?”
“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.” Matthew 25:40 NIV
Why do it? Do it because you’re doing it for Him. Do it because when you are ministering to those in need, those without anything to offer, and who may not even say thank you – you are ministering to Jesus Himself. That’s a powerful thought! The bible says that when we take care of strangers we may actually be entertaining angels. The man you think will probably take that eight dollars straight to the liquor store just might be an angel…
Now that puts things into a different perspective!
Every time we take the opportunity to minister to someone, and we do it unselfishly for His glory, we are doing it unto Jesus at the same time? Wow! If I can just remember that, maybe I will start to looking for opportunities to reach out. I won’t be concerned with the outcome or the personal gain, I’ll do it out of love for the person and, ultimately, out of love for my Savior.
In 1 Corinthians 10:24, Paul says…
“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
It’s a powerful way of living – putting other’s needs before your own – and it’s what Christ expects from us. But our obedience is not without reward, even if the reward is not here on earth. To the ones who sacrificed their comfort for others, He says…
“… Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Matthew 25:34b NIV