Matthew 25:35 (KJV): For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
“Are good works necessary for eternal life?” (25:35-36)
“Jesus did not teach that good deeds form the basis of our salvation. The Bible shows clearly that eternal life results from what God does, not what we do (Titus 3:4-5). We are saved by God’s grace, not by our works. Yet, God intends that those who receive his grace will also do good works (Eph. 2:8-10). True faith is more than just claiming to have faith; there is fruit that can be seen when we have true faith. Others shall know us by what we do. Genuine love for God will be expressed through service to others (1 John 3:16-18)–simply because a heart that truly loves God will be so filled with compassion for others, we will not be able to do anything but what He would do Himself. Jesus set the example for us to follow; he came to heal those in need. Good works that come from people grateful for God’s grace are at the heart of true religion (James 1:27).”
These are some truly challenging verses to pray over and meditate upon. These actions, they are what show the true state of our hearts. These are meant to challenge that we would reach out, show mercy, love, seek opportunities to preach His word, to those in need, more and more. Again we are shown how important it is to serve, for just as He came not to be served but to serve, so have we been called to serve. It’s not about us but about the body of Christ; the community where He has placed us. We are missionaries in our own homes and neighborhoods. We must reach out; we must be still that we can hear and see where God is calling us to go, and to speak, to love and to heal. In His name and for His glory.
We must be willing to step outside of our comfort zone and be “welcoming” to “strangers”. We are here to meet the needs of those who are “the least of these” — the undesireables (when I was still a social worker my caseload was always jokingly referred to by that name – the ones no one else really wanted or hoped for). We cannot turn a blind eye; we are called to love as Christ would love them. He never tells us to “play it safe” or simply “take care of your own.” Rather again and again, He says, “When you love the outcast, you are are loving me.”
When we are still, we are so much more aware of our surroundings. One lady wrote how this brought to mind the title of a book – The Geranium on the Windowsill Just Died, but Teacher You Went Right On. In other words, we can be so busy we don’t notice other things around us. Are we too focused on the flowers that have died? Do we see those opportunities and needs which cross our path?
What could happen if we really could “be still”? It makes me think of snipers – in order to make an accurate shot, they must shoot in between their own heartbeats. To do that, they have to be able to hear their heartbeat. A study was done to show what happens when people are placed in a completely sound-proof, darkened room. When placed in complete stillness, people can hear their heartbeats, and air passing through their lungs. Can you imagine that? I can barely hear myeslf think some days.
Imagine if we could be that still with God, what could we, would we, accomplish? Would we miss those dried up, dead flowers? What “urgent” thing could fade away as we focus on Him and His kingdom ~ What would we see that REALLY matters?