As a teacher, I have been given the opportunity to work with students of various needs. I have had the blessing of helping students with dyslexia (a reading disorder) move into becoming competent readers of God’s Word. And some of these students are now teachers themselves making a difference in children’s lives. My life has been enriched by helping these students.
In Matthew 25 Jesus explains the importance of helping others. He says that at the Final Judgment people will be separated into two categories: the sheep and the goats. The sheep not only know Him but have followed His example. They have served others by genuinely helping meet people’s needs through providing food, clothing, shelter, and time. Jesus tells us these helping actions were done without the knowledge of any reward, and these selfless actions are considered the same as serving Christ Himself.
The goats, however, did just the opposite. They never took time to help, even though the opportunity was presented to them time and time again. Mathew 25:43 states, “I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” Helping others, especially those who are clearly in need, reflects our Savior’s love. Helping should never be about getting a reward and is certainly should not be seen as our “entrance ticket” to heaven. Rather, our desire to help others should flow from our desire to serve and imitate Christ.
Matthew 25:46 warns that there is a different outcome for those who do not know God and those who know Him and are willing to help others: “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
>> What about you? Is helping your natural habit? Even if you don’t have a natural inclination to help, it can become a part of who you are when you desire to be more like Jesus. How will you respond today when God presents your opportunity to help?
Today’s devotional reminds us that helping the poor, the hungry, and the prisoner is the same as doing it to Christ Himself. May we honor the Lord with our deeds of compassion!