Wednesday, April 25, 2012

To Whom Much is Given

Matthew 25:31-46

"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'

"Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'

"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'

"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'

"Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."

There will come a day when I stand before God and I will give an account for the way I personally loved the overlooked or ignored. I cannot hand this responsibility off to church leaders or to our government. Jesus commands my personal involvement. When I picture these moments I see Jesus talking to me in the here and now. I see Him look me in the eyes and say…

“Janel, I blessed your womb and you got to feel the joyous miracle of bringing a life into this world. Two little lives that hold your genes. You get to look at them and see your own deep brown eyes, your awkwardly skinny legs and lanky frame, you get to watch them play and you see how I blessed them with the very gifts and talents that I gave you and Jake. You get to pass on your legacy, your family line. You watch their personality unfold and get the luxury of saying “You get that from your dad!” You see that the very gift of pregnancy in itself is just that….a gift. You get to see that life is precious, that I designed each and every heart beat for a purpose. Won’t you show My other children that they aren’t left in the dust? That their life is full of purpose too?”

“Janel, many of my children live behind concrete walls and fences, beds stacked high, and their caretakers come and go. Yes they’re getting food. Yes they’re getting care from adults. Yes they have toys that have been donated to their home that they can play with. Yes they’re off the streets. But they lack one thing. A mommy and daddy. They lack the healing, the confidence, the love that only comes by having a true family. Dear Janel, I let you be a mommy. It was my power that blessed your womb and gave you that glorious name. Won’t you please be a mommy to my children who day after day wake up without this deep need being met? Don’t worry that your insufficient. Don’t worry about the details. Yes, you are weak, but My power will sustain you. I will pick out the children I have designed for your family, and I will lead you to them. Will you take this step of faith and trust Me? Will you care for My children?”

“Dear Janel, remember, you are living in a fallen world destroyed by sin. Many of my children are being abused and neglected. I’ve designed them to know Me as Savior, Redeemer, Refuge. But no one has told them about Me yet. They have deep needs. On the surface their needs start off as physical. Their empty bellies need food. Their bodies are diseased and infested because of the water they drink. They have no money to go to school. Deeper still, they need to know My truths. They need to know the hope of heaven, and how they can get there. If you reach out to them, I will let My light shine through you so that they will see Me. Won’t you be my hands and feet?”

“Janel, I give you and your family 3 meals a day. You sit at a king-sized table and dine on the choicest of foods. On holidays I give you the means to have fellowship over dishes filled to the brim and platters stacked high. But many of my children have acquired a taste for mush and rodents because that is all they can afford. Even more of my children don’t know when their next meal will be. Won’t you please feed my sheep?”

“Janel, I’ve given you a husband who provides for you and is your strength. He’s a leader in your home, he doesn’t treat you poorly, or neglect his family. Many of My daughters have been left by their husbands. They struggle day to day, trying to do it all yet falling short when the sun goes down. Their children suffer and My daughter’s die on the inside because they haven’t the means or the tools or the know-how to provide. Won’t you come alongside of them? Won’t you empower them? Won’t you sit and listen to their story, and tell them about hope everlasting?”

“Janel, when your children are sick you can hop in your car and see a well-educated doctor within a matter of 5 minutes. You even have preventative care so that your children don’t get sick. Many of My children become sick simply because of the surroundings of their environment. Even the smallest of sicknesses can become fatal because they have no money to get medicine, no money for bus fare to the hospital. They are helpless. I will give you opportunities to help them. Are you listening when I pull on your heart to act?”

“Janel, I gave you the means to build a house with wood, and beautiful tile, and cushiony carpeting, and warm insulated walls. Many of My children build with sticks, mud, and scraps. Their houses don’t keep out the bugs, the sickness, the disease. Their roof leaks, their floors are dirty. Their surroundings smell of urine and feces. Some of my children have no home at all. I gave you a house with many bedrooms. Won’t you open your door to them?”

This I know, I will have no excuse on that day. So much I have been given and not to hoard to myself, not to indulge, not even to save and build up so I can have an easy life someday, not to hide away my children - my family - my things - my money because I need to save to get more, better, bigger. No. I hear Him say OPEN your arms, OPEN your doors, OPEN your hearts. And when you do, there you will find Me.

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. ~Luke 12:48~


Mark said...

Unbelievably convicting to the very core of who I am as a dad. We are not only praying about our adoption but a huge ministry opportunity in South Africa that will require a literal miracle to see it come to fruition. Keep the faith and your eyes on Him. Blessings

Lisa said...

This is beautiful Janel. God has a purpose for all of us. May the Lord bless the work you are doing to fulfill his purpose for your life. And on that day, may he bless you with the treasures you are storing up for yourself in heaven!

RACHEL said...

Convicting and beautiful.

us said...

I love reading your blog. These are the posts, good posts, that say God is working. He uses your writing. It helps me to remember when times are tough or filled with joy.
Mrs Y.

Chris said...

Thank you for sharing with us. He is truly great and we must be reminded to walk by faith more often. Thanks for feeding my soul today and remembering the little things we take for granted.
Chris F.