Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sheep & Goats

Please take a moment and click over to Amy Savage's blog ... she is in Uganda right now with a team from Children's Hopechest. (I will be in Ethiopia with Children's Hopechest in November.)

Then read Matthew 24:31-46, the parable of the sheep and goats. I've read this passage many times in years past and it was one of those messages that I somewhat uncomfortably skipped past because it is so convicting. I don't know anyone who is hungry or thirsty or homeless, so how can I help?

And then the slow realization over the years that there are countless opportunities to reach out and help - and make a remarkable difference in someone's life right now. Someone who is made in the image of God and who HE loves very much. Even if that person is living in poverty and starving, or dying of AIDS, or orphaned with no mommy or daddy to love and protect them. God values and loves them as much as HE loves you and me. As much as my heart hurts for those that are suffering, God's heart hurts even more. Richard Stearns, president of World Vision sums it up like this ...

"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved...whatever you have done to the least of these, you've done it to Me."

Matthew 24:31-46
"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to me.'

"Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why?

Because - I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'

"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'

"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me - you failed to do it to me.' "Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."

Please click to Amy's blog and read about what they are doing right now in Uganda ... Loving the Least of These

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