Bible Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
When we help other people…we are honoring God…everything that we do for other people will be rewarded (:40)
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
There is a story told about Queen Mary of Great Britain. Each summer, she would visit a beautiful castle in Scotland called Barmoral Castle. The countryside around the castle was absolutely stunning and Queen Mary would often take walks by herself. She felt very safe there, so she would walk by herself, unescorted by the security guards who normally accompanied her.
One day, she had become so caught up admiring the beauty of the trees, and flowers, and land…that she didn’t realize how far she had walked. Much further than normal. Just about the moment that she looked around and realized how far she had wandered…it started to rain. Quickly, she ran across the road to a farmhouse and knocked on the door. A lady came to the door and the Queen asked if she had an umbrella that she could borrow. The lady didn’t recognize the Queen and asked her to wait for a moment at the door. She went into the kitchen and there on the table was her brand new umbrella. But she didn’t want to give that one to a stranger. After all, how did she know if this unknown person would even bring it back. She dug through the garbage and found her old umbrella that she had thrown away. A few of the ribs were broken and there were a couple of holes in the fabric…but it would work fine for a stranger. What more could she expect…her best umbrella? I think not. “There, that will do her just fine,” she thought. She took the umbrella to the lady at the door and said, “Here you go. It’s not in the best condition in the world…but it’s the best I have to offer.” The Queen thanked the lady and headed down the road…water dripping down the sides and through the holes of the umbrella.
The next day, the lady heard a knock at the door. She thought, “My, that’s unusual. Two visitors in two days.” When she opened the door, her eyes opened wide. There in front of her was one of the Queen’s couriers. He said, “The Queen sent me. She asked me to extend her appreciation to you for loaning her your umbrella.” With that, he turned around and walked off. The lady just stood there. She couldn’t believe it. “Oh,” she thought. “If I had known that she was the Queen I would have given her the very best I had. I would have given her my new umbrella!”
Do we ever do that? Do we treat one person one way…and another person another way? Do we treat one person nice…
- because they are nice to us
- because they can do something for us
- because they have money
- because they are popular?
And turn right around and not treat another person nice…
- because they don’t treat us nice
- because there is nothing that they can do for us
- because they are poor
- because they don’t have many friends?
Did you know that Jesus told His disciples that we show how much we love God…by how much we love people? Really. It’s kind of like this. Somewhere around your house…maybe in that drawer where all the stuff is kept that you only use one time a year…you probably have a thermometer. A thermometer doesn’t determine the temperature…it tells you what the temperature is. And no matter what you say the temperature is…no matter how much you say you love warm temperature, or cold temperature…the thermometer is going to tell you what the temperature really is. That’s the way people are. They are the thermometer of your love for God. No matter how much you say you love God. No matter how much you talk about loving God. The way you treat other people is like a thermometer…it tells exactly how much you really love God. And get this…it doesn’t just apply to people that are easy to love, or people who love you back. It applies to all people…all people…let me say it one more time, “all” people. Yeah, Jesus made that point, too. He gave several examples of different kinds of people and how we should love them…”all” of them. For instance, He said that we should love…
- people who are hungry…they probably don’t have a job
- people who don’t even have enough money to get a drink of water…now, that’s pretty poor
- people that you don’t know…not just friends
- people who don’t dress right…they don’t have cool clothes, or hang around with the “right” kind of people
- people who are sick…they can’t help themselves, they depend on other people
- people who have broken the law…they aren’t the kind of people that you would want to be seen with.
Those are probably not the kind of people that will help you to be more successful, that will be able to do something back for you, that you would like to be seen in public with.
But Jesus took it a step further…just in case you still haven’t caught on. He said that we should love “the least of these”. By that, He wanted you to stop and think about the person you know…that nobody, and I mean no-body…loves. He’s talking about the person that others ignore, and dislike, and ridicule, and laugh at, and stay away from, and walk on the other side of the street from. That’s the person…”the least of these”. Jesus said that the way that we treat them, the way that we show love to them…is a thermometer. It reveals how much we really, really love God. Because the way that we love God…is by loving other people…and that includes even “the least of these”.
Who do you know that needs to know that God loves them? He does love them. He loves everyone. They just may not know it. And the way that He loves them…is through you. So, as you are doing whatever it is that you do today…look around. There are people everywhere that God wants to love…through you. Want to have fun? Count people. Now, I’m not telling you to not love some people. If you have the chance…show God’s love to everyone you meet. But, in order to be intentional about loving people…let’s count people. Today, you are going to express God’s love to every 5th person that you meet. 1,2,3,4…5…show them, God’s love. 6,7,8,9…10…show them God’s love. You got it? Now, start counting…and don’t stop until you go to sleep, tonight. And don’t forget…God loves you!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,