2 Corinthians 9 | 2 Samuel 16
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” —Romans 12:10-12
There is an estimated 100 million street children in the world today. The estimation by the year 2020 is a staggering 800 million, and every one of these children is precious to God. They are all created with dignity and purpose, and each one with the potential of being the dwelling place for God’s Holy Spirit.
James 1:27 tells us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” Nothing is more important than how we treat our fellow beings. Scripture makes clear that our attitude towards others is the best test and measurement of our real attitude towards God.
In Matthew, Chapter 25, Jesus tells how our treatment of others is the criteria upon which God’s judgment is going to be meted out. At the end of time, all nations will be gathered around His throne, and the people divided as a shepherd divides his sheep from his goats. The sheep will be on the right of Christ and the goats on His left. And Jesus will ask, “I was hungry, did you feed me? I was thirsty, did you give me drink? A stranger, did you invite me in? Naked, did you clothe me? Sick, did you look after me, and in prison, did you visit me?” Then He says, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). The distinction between the sheep and goats is drawn entirely upon the treatment of our fellow beings, and what seems the least of the brothers, by human measurement, is to God the greatest. Those on Christ’s left will depart from Him to eternal punishment, and those on His right to eternal life.
Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples…” (John 13:34-35). To love God is to love one another. The two cannot be separated, because it is through us God’s love for humanity is expressed. We are the conduits for His work on earth and, as Christians, it is our responsibility to care for the poor and oppressed around the globe. Let us not forget we are working in the strength of God, and just one person loved, fed, clothed, sheltered and exposed to Christ as their Saviour may have spiralling effects on more as they go about serving God.
PRAYER: This is a desperately needy world, Lord, and I want to be a part of your work in it. Enable me to be a continual conduit of your love, not just where I live, but around the world. Present me with opportunity after opportunity where my love for You will be expressed in helping others. Thank You, Lord.
TO REFLECT UPON: In reflecting upon the past few years of my life, would I be sitting on the right side of Christ or on His left? Am I experiencing God’s love for humanity working in me and through me to the benefit of others? If not, how can I make this real for me?