I love a good prank, don’t you? I learned to love a good prank from childhood, as my mom is the queen of all pranksters. Just ask our pastor about the tasty sponge cake she made (with all-natural ingredients) for his family. 🙂
She is the one you would least expect to play a trick on you, as she is trustworthy, kind, and would never tell a lie – except for the time she emptied the tube of Crest toothpaste and refilled it with Colgate toothpaste to prove to my dad he would never know the difference.
And she was right.
But even more than I can trust my mom, I can completely trust God’s word. I can fully trust what Jesus says. Always. But I have to confess, there have been plenty of times when I have been reading His word, I’ve thought, “You’re joking, right? This is a prank, right? Wait a minute. Maybe I didn’t understand this. Let me read it again.”
I’m in one of those times right now, especially as the “season of giving” fast approaches. Yes, “let me read it again.”
Matthew 25:34-40 “Then the King (Jesus) will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”(NIV)
Jesus, You’re joking, right?
But Jesus, You’re the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You’re not the poor, hungry, thirsty, sickly, naked, homeless stranger!
And this is what makes Him all the more beautiful. All the more other-worldly. All the more worthy of my heart, my money, my life! The Son of God so greatly loves the world—the physically and spiritually poor, hungry, thirsty, sickly, naked, homeless strangers—that He would leave the perfection of heaven, become one of us, begin life on Earth in a feeding trough, have no place to lay His head as a young man, and give His life on a cruel cross for us.
Aaaaahhhhh, that sounds so spiritual and gives me the warm fuzzies—until I think a step further and realize He calls His followers to give in the same way. Until I read the next verses and see what happens to the ones who don’t feed, clothe, and care for Him. Until I think about what that means practically for me in Small Town, USA, in 2017.
I may write another post or two about the topic of giving in the upcoming days, as I most often write about an area in which I’m currently trying to grow. I invite you to join me in this journey! I’ve got lots to learn, but one thing I’ve already discovered is this: the most generous people I know are always the happiest people I know.
1 John 3:17-18 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (NIV)
Precious Lord, I desperately want Your love in me and flowing through me. Starting today, please help me to let Your love flow from my head and heart to my hands and feet. Help me to have the kind of generosity that You have. Help me to not ignore the needs I see in my family, my church, my town, and around the world. Help me to be like You. Amen.