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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, February 18, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
This parable describes acts of mercy we all can do every day. These acts do not depend on wealth, ability, or intelligence; they are simple acts freely given and freely received. We have no excuse to neglect those who have deep needs, and we cannot hand over this responsibility to the church or government. Jesus demands our person involvement in caring for others’ needs.
The point of this parable is not the who, but the what—the importance of serving where service is needed. The focus of this parable is that we should love every person and serve anyone we can. Such love for others glorifies God by reflecting our love for him. (NLT)
Matthew 25:31-46 – [Jesus said] “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. Then the King will say to those on the right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we every see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ And he will answer, ‘I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
Robert Boyce (Tennessee) titled his story “DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS;” here is a portion of Robert’s story:
“Late on a Saturday night, I stopped to see the Duke University Chapel with its flying buttresses supporting a roof some 80 feet above the floor. All too soon, my few moments of solitude and prayer were interrupted by a conversation with the caretaker. Discovering that I was in town for a conference of orthopedic trauma surgeons, she told me that she was slowly recovering from injuries sustained after being hit by a car. Immediately I thought, Can’t I ever get a break from work? My dismay quickly turned to peace as I realized that God had a different idea of how to meet me in this awe-inspiring place.
“. . . This experience reminds me that to stop, listen, and offer myself to a person is just as much an experience of worship as meditating in a majestic chapel. The next time someone interrupts my solitude, I want to remember: that person just might be Jesus.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Interruptions may be visits from Christ.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for opening our eyes to see people and your purposes in the world. May we offer our gifts in thankful service to those we meet today. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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