A person standing behind a wire fence holding on to the wire with their hands

Don’t turn a blind eye

12 April 2018
‘He will separate the people one from another.’

Jesus set out a picture of the day we’ll all meet Him, beyond this life: ‘All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance”’ (vv. 32-34 NIV). But here’s what happens to the others: ‘He will say to those on his left, “Depart from Me”’ (v. 41 NIV). Why? What moves Jesus to say that? Is it because one group was morally spotless and shiny, while the other got up to all kinds of wrong things? Or maybe one group was doctrinally correct and the other just couldn’t get enough heresy? Actually, none of the above. Jesus said everyone’s destiny will be based on one thing: showing compassion to those in need. Probably you’ll be thinking ‘Aren’t we saved by faith alone?’ Yes. But as Martin Luther pointed out, ‘The faith that saves us is never alone.’ The Bible says that faith without works is dead (take a look at James 2:26). Jesus said that this was the test, the standard that will make us or break us with Him: ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me’ (Matthew 25:36 NKJV). Then He personalised it. ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (v. 40 NIV). How can you open your heart to deep needs around you?

 

What now?

Look for a need today. Write it down, then at the end of the day, spend half an hour praying, asking God how you can meet it. And then tomorrow, act.

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