To the Least (Feb 8)

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

February 8

To The Least

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 22:1-18 | Exodus 28:1-43 | Matthew 25:31-26:13 | Proverbs 8:12-13

Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 25:31-26:13

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40 NIV).

Jesus’ parables have a way of cutting right to the heart of the issue. In his parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus reminds us that love for God is evidenced by our love for one another–especially as we express that love practically in meeting needs.

True love is feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, taking in the immigrant, visiting the lonely prisoner. The amazing part is that Jesus says when we do these practical acts of love and kindness to the “least of these,” it’s like we are doing it for Him. God cares about the poor, the hungry, the immigrant, the prisoner, the hurting. He cares about those who are in need. To show God’s love to them, is to express love to Christ himself.

To fail to show love through practical acts of love and kindness when we are able, is to ignore Christ– to fail to express our love to Him. Either choice has eternal consequences (46). 

John makes a similar point in his first Epistle:

“This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another” “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:11, 17-18 NIV).

Jesus could not make it any more clear: love for God must be expressed by loving others–especially those in need. We cannot close our heart to those in need. We cannot forget the “least of these.”

God of Mercy, give us eyes to see this world through your merciful, compassionate eyes. May we see the poor, the needy, the immigrant, the prisoner, the hungry, the hurting, as you do. May we always open our hearts to those in need. Give us wisdom and insight in doing what we can to show your love in practical ways. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
This entry was posted in Devotional Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.