"More than anything else, Jesus said our acts of kindness and sharing reveal the depth of our relationship with him. Those who are growing to know Jesus will find themselves giving to others in the same way he gives to them. That is why at the end of the age he can measure our love for him by the love we gave to others: "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" (Matt. 25:35-36). Those who didn't know Jesus questioned his words, asking when they saw him in need and didn't help. Jesus replied, "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did ot do for me" (v. 45)."
"Our life in Jesus, or the lack of it, is demonstrated by our compassion for people in need. He looks at those actions exactly as if we are, or are not, doing them for him. His compassion is contagious. Once we have experienced it from his hand, there is no way we can hold it to ourselves."
This passage makes me a little uncomfortable in that it almost seems like it is what we are doing, or more so what we are doing for him. Terminology gets in the way of good thoughts some time.
What I prefer to think about what is being said is rather, that our Life which is Jesus, in Him and He in us, allows us to demonstrate His compassion for people in need. Also that our actions are from Him not for Him.
Have you ever been at a gathering of the saints and felt such an overwhelming sense of compassion, of loving concern, a depth of caring that you know is beyond yourself? I was at one such gathering on Saturday night. There was this real power of His Presence within me that totally took me by surprise. He was weeping for the people gathered, who were sharing some "issues", some of their stuff and He took over and priveleged me to feel what I am sure is a very small piece of what He feels for His children. It was awesome and real and it was His gift to me that night, tough as that is to hold on to because people are hurting. He also allowed me to let go of some of my stuff that night and let me only have a concern for others there. That is cool. Every person at this gathering was prayed for intimately.....that cannot happen at the OREC. Well, I shouldn't say can't because God can do anything. I have never seen or witnessed this power to this extent very often and it always has been in a small gathering. It blessed me and when reading this portion of the book, I couldn't help but relate this to that night..... kindness, compassion, and reaching out to people in need....strangers but not so much strangers as our brothers and sisters. God surprised me again as I took my eyes off of myself and looked at others with His eyes and His Love. What a wonderful life you can have when it is Life in Jesus and when He lives that Life in and through you. It is something you just know is happening because my concern in and of myself....never could be that deep.
The other cool thing was that we had some teaching on the passage in Luke 8:41-48, about the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' robe and was healed. He felt power go out from Him to her despite the throng pressing in on Him. I began looking at this passage again and I think He knew who had been healed, don't you think? Why did He ask? She had to step forth once again, openly this time in faith, to acknowledge Him and His power. She had faith. She was healed. Not all are. But she was. She fell before the Lord, trembling it says but she approached Him knowing His power and having witnessed it. All the people around Jesus at this time and she was healed. He is an amazing God!
Just thought I would share!
Picture by Chad Bartlett