Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
Have you ever been walking down the aisle in a store and then suddenly look up to see someone that causes you to turn around and walk out of the aisle? Maybe this person was dirty, dressed weird, looked scary or had a smell you didn’t like? How about seeing a person on the street that you quickly look away or cross to the other side of the street just so you can avoid them?
Whether we do it or watch as someone else does it, these situations happen many times every day. Often, we don’t know the person and yet we judge them quickly or act in a way that could embarrass them and us. Like I said, we don’t know their situation, what they may be going through, or why they are in the situation in the first place.
Maybe it wasn’t you doing this because you were the one that it happened to. There have even been times in all our lives when we wonder how we got there or we look in the mirror and don’t recognize the person staring back. Even if we had a moment where we hit rock bottom we would not want people staring at us.
No matter what is going on in our own lives we can always reach out to help other people, but it is not an easy thing. We may not know where to start or even what to do, but we can at least ask if they need help or just talk to them. You would be surprised how much people will talk if you just begin the conversation.
We have to remember that much has to do with our approach, because a smile and a soft tone may even lead people to talk to us. Jesus was a great example on how this was done. He talked to everyone and even if a person did not know who He was, they talked to Him. There was something different about Him that invited people in.
When we choose to reach out to people who others ignore, we do have to be prepared for how some will act. We saw this with Jesus in Mathew 9:11-12 (NLT), “But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.”
I once was that Pharisee that looked down on people with a harsh word and a gruff exterior. But when I rededicated my life back to Christ I received many comments on how I had changed and I have not gone back to that former attitude. Whether you have a strong relationship with Christ or just beginning one, we all should reflect on how you view other people.
Many people we encounter do not have a relationship with Jesus and need that hand to bring them closer. If we truly open our eyes we can see many the lost, the lonely, the scared, or the broken around us. Be careful because far too often we may quickly jump in one direction and then overlook those who hide the pain well or we believe do not need anything.
If you really think about it, can a corporate lawyer, an internet millionaire, or pro athlete be a least of these described in the opening scripture? Yes. We see it in the news and on social media everyday as others are just too happy to take advantage of their misery. It shows that no matter how rich or powerful you get, you are not immune to the negative forces in this world.
If you are not sure where to start or what to do, the part of scripture before the opening verse gives us examples. Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
There are many great community or faith based programs right where you live that you can get involved with, but you have to seek them out. I have helped serve a meal, packed food bags for a school feeding program and a food pantry. If I did not have the time I have donated clothing, furniture, food, and even money when I could.
I am now beginning to realize that there are more hurting people with needs that may not be covered by a program in the area. This has led me to learn more about organizing what is needed and I continue to pray for guidance to plan the next steps that I can take. I know that I am a doer but starting a program from scratch is not part of my expertise, so I am asking God to show me where to find the knowledge or a teacher to assist me.
Each of us have a talent for what we know or what we can do and if we truly are a follower of Jesus, we will reach out to everyone using those talents. No matter who they are, no matter what they have done, and no matter what they look like, God loves them and wants them to be part of His kingdom. Then they can join their talents with the rest of us and reach even more people.
Let the Spirit bring us together like in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (NLT), “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.”
So, remove your blinders and reach out to all those in need. Stop listening to your doubts and hear the cries of the hurting. Combine your voice with mine to tell them of God’s love. Then don’t stop until they know what it looks like and is for real. Take a moment to pray to see the path God has for you and then also please enjoy, “Live in His Heavenly Halls.”
LIVE IN HIS HEAVENLY HALLS
You may find them sitting in dark corners hiding from the light,
Scared that someone may see them, then only come out at night.
Sometimes we see the unwashed faces but turn our eyes away,
Not seeing the person underneath before we walk the other way.
We don’t notice the downcast eyes of a child who hungers for a meal,
Or that person sleeping in the alley using cardboard as their shield.
Not only the downtrodden but all those who are hard of heart,
Also ones who are lost, lonely, scared, broken, or falling apart.
There are so many in our world who are just trying to survive,
Some waking in the morning just happy to be alive.
Count the blessings you have been given each morning as you rise,
Then ask the Lord who you can reach as he opens up your eyes.
Jesus showed us how to love our neighbors and to help all those in need,
To be the light into their dark world so their souls can be freed.
Be ready to find His lost and lonely children and go wherever He calls,
Everyone deserves to be brought home and live in His heavenly halls.