Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 30, 2017
By Tripp Prince
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “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 25:37-40 (NIV)
What does it mean to be a faithful disciple? If we’re honest, this is a question that we have all wrestled with from time to time. We want to be faithful disciples but often we are simply unsure of what that looks like in our lives in meaningful and concrete ways. Unfortunately, this can lead us into places of fear and inactivity, where our uncertainty grows into apathy and indifference.
If you are ever unsure of what to do next in your faith journey, get out of your head and find practical, concrete ways to serve those who are poor and vulnerable. We are tempted to believe that we can think our way towards spiritual growth and health. Yet most of the time, the problem with our discipleship isn’t in our thinking but in our doing, and this misdiagnosis can be deadly.
In Matthew’s gospel we encounter a radical and profound truth: our service to “the least of these” is directly linked to our faithful service of Christ himself. Jesus invites us to join him where he is, and in this and so many other stories, we see that Jesus is with the weak, the destitute, and the lonely. And the warning found in these words is equally significant: if we fail to join Jesus where he is, we may in fact miss him entirely.
“ I 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” (Matthew 25:43).
The heart of the Christian faith is conformity into Christ’s likeness. Yet so often, if we’re honest, we invert this relationship and instead seek to conform Christ into our likeness! We want him to love the things we love and be passionate about our passions and interests. And while that may sound and feel appealing on one level, the Jesus of the Bible forces us to come to terms with reality.
Jesus cannot be coerced or manipulated, neither can he be distracted or derailed. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10) and wants his church to be about the same mission. Will you join him?
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18).
PrayerFather, give us the courage to enter into the pain and brokenness of our world so that we can join you in your mission to renewal all things in Christ. Amen.
ApplicationHow can you practically serve the poor and vulnerable in your community?
Related ReadingProverbs 14:21; Isaiah 58:10; James 1:27
Post/Tweet todayThe heart of the Christian faith is conformity into Christ’s likeness. #WisdomHunters #leastofthese
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