Monday, February 22, 2010

Daily devotional: The sheep and the goats

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'"
Matthew 25:40 (see vv. 31-46)

When Jesus returns for the final judgment of all people, He will separate the righteous who will go into eternal life from the unrighteous who will go into eternal punishment. The criteria won't just be those who spent their time growing internally in their knowledge of God and the Bible, nor will it just be those who shared their faith with others. Rather, the distinction will be evidenced by those who showed mercy, love, and compassion to those who needed it. As Keith Green challenged in his song "The Sheep and the Goats," the only difference between these two groups is what they did and didn't do.

Show mercy, love, and compassion even to the least. Don't be self-absorbed.

Lord, these are challenging and difficult words. No wonder scholars have struggled to interpret the implications. May I be so filled with Your Spirit that Your mercy, love, and compassion becomes a natural outpouring from within me. Help me, Lord, to not be self-absorbed, selfish, lazy, and greedy. And may Your name be further glorified as a result! I love you!

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