"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Something to think about.

Here is a thought. Picture a person/ persons whom you just really have a hard time loving (we are commanded to love one another). ... Are you forming a picture? Thinking thoughts about that person? ...the someone whom you love because you have too for whatever reason. Think of how you show love to that least loved person in your life. Now with their picture and those feelings in mind-- This is the most you love God.

David challenged us with this -- "The person you love the least is as much as you love God"-- in a very excellent sermon this morning. I just thought I'd share it. It makes me think about the way I love others. I hope it stirs your hearts too.

Matthew 25:40- 45

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

It makes me think about not only the people I know and have a hard time loving, but also it challenges me in loving people in general. I imagine even the least of the people in my life do not compare to the least of the people Jesus was referring to. Those in prison -- I would guess he didn't mean just those imprisoned wrongly or for their faith-- sick-- I imagine he did not just mean the sick people who are sick because of an uncontrollable illness, but perhaps those sick in addictions and whatever illnesses those addictions may bring about. I imagine the hungry, thirsty and needy ones He was referring to were not just the believers who needed help, but those who did not believe too and those who may take advantage of "hand outs" (these people need our love and help more than they even realize).

I know I have had strong feelings toward people who have committed an evil act and not shown them love in my heart much less visited them in prison and shared the love of Jesus with them. I know that I have been one to think negative thoughts about someone who admitted to knowing where all of the churches and food banks are between here and California and planned on taking advantage of them again in order to trek a full family from here to there with no money (all the while on the run from the police). It has been a while back, but I know I did not think really loving thoughts about this person as a man, husband or dad, much less as a loved creation of God. I know there are some really important lessons for me to take from this one phrase and think about. I hope you will think about it too. I want to show others how much I really do love them. I understand much more (but I do not claim to have a complete understanding) about how to love the least of these. Tell them and show them how much Jesus loves them. Jesus wants them to come to Him, He would never turn His nose up and say something derogatory about how that person just refuses to work, or how that person has had a chance and flopped, or how that person is just to mean/ evil and should be put away or worse, or how that person is sick because of their own doing... Jesus would go eat with them; He touched them. Jesus would give them chance after chance with open loving arms not condessention and superiority. Jesus refused to throw stones. Jesus healed people from evil demons. Jesus died for these people. We have to tell them so. We have to love them so.

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