“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”- Matthew 25:41-46 ESV
How does anybody know if we are a follower of Jesus Christ? OUR LOVE- is the way. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) “We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord. We are one in the Spirit; we are one in the Lord. And we pray that all unity will one day be restored. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Great lyrics from the Mark Swayze band, but how do we live those words? Love is a VERB it is not a feeling. Love is never about what we “can’t do”, it is about what we are willing to do for another.
Leader, the Bible, tells us that all fall short of the glory of God, ALL HAVE SINNED. There are 2 types of sins; Sins of COMMISSION-ones we do, we commit. And there are things we should do, but don’t do- sins of OMISSION. Romans 7:15 illuminates this struggle in Paul: For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. And Jesus’ half-brother James, tells us that to if we are ONE OF HIS, then we DO THINGS differently: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17) We have heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I say, “What you are doing speaks so LOUDLY, that people don’t need to HEAR A WORD, coming out of your mouth! People don’t need another sermon, they need a picture- they need an example!
Conduit, John is called the disciple that Jesus loved. His epistle, the book of John, is called the book of Love and He puts it bluntly: But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? (1 John 3:17) And when Jesus Himself was asked what the greatest commandment was- His reply: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40) The cool thing, God even tells us, if we love this way- serving others and using God’s blessings as blessings to others- then we get a mulligan! Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) Today be a CONDUIT, and let the blessings of GOD, pass through your hands into those in need. In other words, LOVE! Use your temporary stuff, for others temporary help. “Love is long-suffering and kind. It does not envy; does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth: bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.