In the last post we started looking at Matthew 25:31-40 as we endeavored to determine what our lives should look like if we would truly reflect the love and mission of Christ. Today I want to finish that thought, so we can all be clear on what the life of a disciple really looks like. As we saw last time, following Jesus is all about giving of our time and resources to carry on His mission and to follow through on the commands He has given us.
While our closets swell with the amount of clothing in them, millions of people in the world have nothing to wear. They spend their days naked and without shoes, many of whom literally live in garbage dumps. These aren’t word pictures to shock you; they are simply the truth. All of us can donate clothing to area ministries that provide for those in need. Also consider giving a portion of your money to ministries who provide the same service globally. There is no excuse for someone in this world to go without clothing or shoes. How sickening to see images of children in foreign countries basically wearing rags, and then taking a walk through our local shopping mall. We have the resources, we simply lack the will. Instead of buying ourselves some new jeans or shoes, consider donating a pair instead.
In Matthew 25:36, we are commanded to take care of the sick. I confess to not handling sickness well. If someone so much as coughs in my direction I freak out a little. This is not the reaction that Jesus had. He lovingly touched those who were ill. He didn’t turn away, He embraced them. We need to be mindful of when our neighbors are sick and be a welcome help to them. Visit nursing homes and hospitals to share a few moments of your time and a kind word to those who are not only sick, but lonely as well. Give to, or go with, organizations that are providing medical care to people in other countries. Be a part of the solution. Be the Good Samaritan; do not pass them by.
The final command in the passage above tells us to visit those in prison. All over the world, Christians are persecuted, thrown into prison and left to die. They are tortured and deprived of food and sleep. Our fellow Christians are both sick and imprisoned and we should support ministries who care for these people and who seek justice on their behalf. We can either join them physically or support them monetarily. Be the hands and feet of Jesus, and care for their needs. Many of us know someone with a family member in prison. Go with that person to visit the one locked in a cell; give them your support and love. Be a mentor for someone in jail. Don’t judge them, but show compassion instead. In all ways, serve others and by doing so you will reflect the love of Christ.
There are many ways to follow the commands of Christ, both by joining forces with ministries or supporting them financially. We in the West have been blessed with significant resources and I believe it is our duty to fund those ministries who are carrying out the commands of Jesus. We don’t necessarily need another new ministry; we need to support the ones that have already established a foothold in helping those in need. May I suggest The Voice of the Martyrs, Persecution Project, World Vision and Compassion International? As you plan your giving for this year, see how many ways you can fulfill the commands of Matthew 25:31-40. Spend your money wisely in acts of service for Jesus. The Bible tells us that where we spend our money is a reflection of our heart. As we give to the service of Christ, our hearts will be transformed to look like His. As our hearts are transformed, it will overflow into our daily lives. The simplest way to live a life that looks like that of Christ is to do the things He told us to do. Give generously of your time and resources. Everything we have is His, so give it all back in service to Him. Give like there is no tomorrow. For the love of God, give!