Posted in adoption, God's heart

Messy Truth

Isaiah 58: 6-11 –

“Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?
“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
“Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.
“And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”

Matthew 25: 31-46 –

“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?
‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’
“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’
“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

We followers of Christ are called to more than just our moment of salvation. And our evidence of our faith displayed through the fruit of our response to the poor and “the least of these” will have everlasting affects. I find it eye-opening that Christ chooses the presiding factors on which to weed the goats form the sheep to be “

For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me,”(Matthew 25: 35-36). And here in Isaiah 58: 7 addresses directly the qualifiers of feeding the hungry, providing a home to the stranger or homeless person, and clothing the naked. This is not to imply that works are a salvation agent, but instead that a life of works for the poor is evidence of a true faith.

It is challenging to delve into the dirt and the “messy” lifestyles of others. Christ doesn’t qualify clothing the naked only if they are interested in Jesus or only if they promise to get a job to clothe themselves. Yet as Matt learned this morning through Acts 4 it should be Jesus’ name that compels us to preach and serve. And we need to be careful not just to love and provide for the poor and the needy because “you’re loved,” or “we care about you,” or even because “we just wanted to bless you,” but instead because we have come in Jesus’ name (Acts 4:10). It is Jesus that gives us the fire and the heart to run to the needy with open arms.

So today, whose name am I coming in?

And am I even coming?

– praying for eyes wide open to the Truth.

Author:

Have you ever thought that the all-sufficient Savior has promised those who walk in blind faith more than our minds can ever comprehend? That the only True Savior renews our minds, even when we feel most useless toward His Kingdom work? The Lord of all dares to touch our hearts, even as we stumble to find obedience. Oh how this soul wishes we Christians would embrace His Truth! And that the world would be different because of obedient hearts. Lord, change me. Lord, change us. All for Your glory. ---------- I am a Jesus-follower, a Homemaker, a Wife of the best man EVER, a Mom of 4 wonderful girls, a missionary in Africa, a Friend, an Encourager, a Seeker of integrity who is unsatisfied with a mediocre walk in Christ, and Blessed beyond any words that I could ever express. Thanks for being interested in my little slice of the world.

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