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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, May 28, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
God will separate his obedient followers from pretenders and unbelievers. The real evidence of our belief is the way we act. To treat all persons we encounter as if they were Jesus is no easy task. What we do for others demonstrates what we really think about Jesus’ words to us: Feed the hungry, give the homeless a place to stay, look after the sick. How well do your actions separate you from pretenders and unbelievers?
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 personal involvement in caring for others’ needs.
Matthew 25:31-40 – [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 tyhem as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his lifet. 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 ever see you hungry and feed ou? 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!’”
What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? — Psalm 8:4 (NRSV)
Gael Stuart Phaneuf’s (Colorado) story is titled “SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS;” here is a portion of Gael’s story:
“. . . As I continued to feel the chill in spite of my warm clothing, my thoughts turned to those enduring cold without adequate clothing or even sufficient food. I wondered, If I were cold and hungry, would I be looking at the night sky and marveling at the majesty of creation in the same way?
“. . . In today’s reading Jesus reminds us that we are not alone in this world. He calls us to show compassion. Regardless of how seemingly minor, our kindnesses to one another have the same value as showing kindness to Jesus. Compassion for the needy is not to be taken lightly even if we are tempted to think that small efforts cannot make a difference. With the psalmist, we marvel that amidst this vast universe, God cares for each of us. As God pours out grace on us, we can share this grace with others.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I honor the Lord when I give as I am able.
Prayer: Majestic Lord and Creator, bless our efforts to serve you. Help us to care for the hurting people of our planet in the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE LIVING IN POVERTY
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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