Matthew 25:40-45 RSV

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 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.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’

Grace is free!  Jesus’ death and debt for our sins was done “while we were yet sinners” (Rom. 5:8).  God did not ask us if we would like to be saved.  God knew we did and He loved us that much.  It was a free gift.  Wow!  So what is Jesus saying in this passage then?  Jesus message is clear and sure.  I think of it like this….whenever I need help like when I’m sick, injured, or something is too heavy to carry alone then  family, friends, or even strangers reach out to offer assistance just because I need it. They do it out of my need for help and because they care.  They do it for free and it compels me to want to repay the favor.  It is such a beautiful gift, to help someone in their time of need or to receive it.  For those I have helped in their time of need, it seemed an automatic response for them to offer help in return because they were so grateful.  If I do not need their help, I ask them to pay it forward…..to help someone else as they are able.  If we belong to God, then we are compelled to help those in need.  We are children of God.  We are made in His image.  We were made to live in peace and to care for one another.  The Holy Spirit guides us.  It’s really instinct! Our Christmas is different, it is year-round.

Prayer:  Oh Lord, you are truly amazing and awesome!  You have created us in Your image.  So lead us in the paths of righteousness.  Prompt us to respond to our God-given instincts to help those in need.  Thank you for saving us and providing for us every day.  Give us a grateful and joyful heart in our time of need and when we help others in their time of need.  Amen

Grace and peace to you and yours,

Brenda Smith

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