A life of following Christ starts by simply accepting the free gift of His salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Many people stop at this point, a result of laziness, lack of commitment or simply bad theology. But to live a life devoted to Christ, we must also do the things that Christ has created us to do (Ephesians 2:10). But what if you don’t know what those things are? Many people go through their lives never quite knowing for certain what they want to be when they grow up. Fortunately, Christ made it very clear for us, both to those who are highly driven and purposeful and those who are still trying to figure it all out. Regardless which group you fall into, Jesus told us in Matthew 25:31-46 the things that we must do to join Him in Heaven. Today I want to quickly break down these areas and we’ll perhaps dive deeper into some of them at a later point. While most of these commands are fairly obvious at face value, I want to pursue ways we can go about accomplishing these tasks in our day to day lives. Many of them we normally relegate to missionaries or special ministries. Christ did not call a special few to do these works, but rather He called all who choose to follow Him. Over the next four posts we’ll examine working out the commands in the parable of the “Sheep and the Goats” from both a physical and spiritual perspective. We’ll start with the physical perspective.
Feed the Hungry. Short term mission trips are a wonderful place to be able to feed hungry people from other countries and cultures. However, there are plenty of opportunities to feed the hungry in the cities where you live. You can take food to a disabled neighbor, invite others over for a meal or pay for someone’s groceries nest time you are out shopping. Go to a part of town where there are homeless people and buy them a sandwich; take some bread, peanut butter and jelly with you and you can make sandwiches for the whole block! Donating to food banks is a very tangible way you can feed hungry people. Check with your church to see if they have programs to help out those who cannot afford groceries. Donate to ministries that feed children and refugees; this is a very important way you can use the money God has blessed you with to provide food for people you would otherwise have no way to reach. If you do not know of any ministries, I trust and highly recommend Compassion International and Persecution Project.
Give the thirsty a drink. Think of all the times you pass by outdoor workers and think what thirsty work it must be. Sure, they may have brought something to drink with them, but you will lift their spirits and quench their thirst by simply handing out some water to them. Keep your trunk stocked with bottled water and you’ll be ready for every opportunity. Go downtown on a hot summer day and hand out water to those walking around. Attend events that draw a lot of people and hand out water in the parking lot. Donate to ministries and organizations that work to provide clean drinking water to people groups that otherwise would not have access to any. On an even grander scale donate funds to dig a well in parched countries such as Sudan. Persecution Project is providing one such ministry with their 100 wells campaign in Jaac, Sudan.
These are just a few practical suggestions how you might do the good works you were created to do. In the next post, we will examine the rest of the commands from the “Sheep and the Goats” as applied from a physical perspective. Begin thinking how you can incorporate some of the thoughts here into your own life. I’d love to hear some of your ideas as well, simply leave a comment below about how you work out the commands to feed the hungry and give water to the thirsty. Whatever you do, focus on Jesus, love people and live out your commitment to Christ by serving others. Let’s not stop at the gift of grace. Let’s do the work Christ created for us to do.