Thursday, February 9th, 2017
Do-Gooders (Part 86)
Care For The Least Of Men
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His Right Hand, but the goats on the Left. Then the King will say to those on His Right Hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Matthew 25:31-40 (NKJV)
Perhaps one of Christ's most urgent messages, one that haunts me in the ease of my life, centers on caring for the least of men: like 800 million hungry people, like earth's ten percent without clean water, like 65 million war refugees, like 20 million sex-trafficking slaves, like growing numbers of homebound seniors, like America's profuse prisoners...
Jesus calls such people, 'The least of these,' and we risk our lives if we forget them. Yes, we risk our lives if church adornment concerns us more than human misery--or mission trips don't become mission lives. I commend every selfless disciple who abandons American comforts to comfort our world's most helpless people.
Yet in two heart-wrenching Gospel stories (The Parable of the Good Samaritan and The Rich Man and Lazarus),** God puts the desperate in front of us. We witness them in close proximity. Their immediacy makes them neighbors. From my understanding of the Bible, we're told to love them and not to scorn them.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Media's screens now connect millions. Although actors may not see their fans, they certainly know they're being watched. Even more, they desire to be watched. Therefore, they become responsible for the fans who are following them. Would worldly stars admit this duty? Probably not.
But then again, you're not of the world. Therefore, think of your fans as neighbors. Some of them are spiritually hungry, thirsty, homeless and naked; they're lust-bound and screen-bound like prisoners. In as much as you do for these fans, you are doing for Jesus Himself.
To Be Continued...
* Article: Hunger Statistics: https://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats
* Facts About Water And Sanitation: http://water.org/water-crisis/water-sanitation-facts/
* Article: Refugee crisis: Record 65 million people forced to flee homes, UN says: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-migrants-world-day-un-a7090986.html
* Article: Sex Trafficking Facts: http://www.equalitynow.org/traffickingFAQ
* Study: Study: 2 Million Elderly Americans Were Homebound in 2011: http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/06/03/study-2-million-elderly-americans-were-homebound-in-2011
** The Parable of the Good Samaritan: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2010:25-37
** The Rich Man and Lazarus: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+16%3A19-31
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.