Pastor James Bennett
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit 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? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire 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, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” - Matthew 25:34-36
In today’s teaching, Pastor James tells the story of the sheep and the goats; six specific mercies separate the righteous (the sheep) from the unrighteous (the goats). These mercies are: feeding the hungry, water for the thirsty, hospitality to strangers, clothing the naked, giving nursing care, and visiting those in confinement (specifically, Jesus talks about prisoners).
James challenges us because both the sheep and the goats called Jesus “Lord.” However, there's a big difference between knowing spiritual things and still turning a blind eye to those in need, versus allowing the relationship that you have with Jesus overflow and produce ministry with those people.
James warns and encourages us with the truth that the heart Jesus seeks is one that understands that, if you have a relationship with Jesus, you will never turn a blind eye and refuse to show love and mercy. You will always do for the one person what you would want to do for the many.
Question: In what area of your life has Jesus' love for you made the most significant difference, and how can you extend that mercy forward?
Family Chat: Have you prayed and made Jesus the boss of your life? Let each family member talk about the day they did that. If you haven't and want to, today is a great day to make that decision!
Take Action: Don’t just gather up knowledge! Unleash love on the people in your everyday world today.