Am I a Christ follower? Are you?

April 13, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Posted in adoption, Church, Life, love, Thoughts on God | 9 Comments

Matthew 25:32-46

“Before him will be gathered all nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come , you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me and I was 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, saying Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the king will answer them, Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers you did it to me.

Then he will say to those on his left, depart from me you cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you have me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 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. Then they also will answer saying, Lord when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? Then he will answer them, saying, Truly I say to you as you did not do it to me. And these will go away to enternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Alright- so what do we do with this? This passage raises so many questions in my mind. Is this the true essence of christianity? Have I been missing it? I thought you just had to acknowledge Jesus with your lips, believe in your heart that He is the son of God and then you will be saved. Maybe that is the beginning and this passage above is what our lives are to be about from that point on. This is pretty stinkin clear huh? All I see in my life is sin. It is me missing the mark with all of this. If we are not doing this and we call ourselves a “christian” are we really? If we are not feeding the hungry, clothing them, taking them into our households, visiting them are we really a christian? What is righteousness? Is it staying away from these people because they are “sinners” or “dangerous?” Is it evaluating motives of these people? Is it ignoring a homeless man because he stinks, because he is a little scary and might spend money in a way that we will not approve of? Is righteousness living life with them and trying to find Jesus in their faces? After reading this I want to move to Haiti even more. There are things I can do today to live this out. How does this passage affect you? What does it say to you? How can we ignore this part of scripture??

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  1. good questions babe. this is a passage that is hard to swallow. it definitly makes you reevaluate how you live life, what you do with your life, what you do with your money, what you do with people in need. it makes me wonder if i’m missing the mark. it makes me wonder if we have it all backwards. it’s not what we’re saved from …it’s what we’re saved for. and that’s something we’re not taught very often

  2. i think it is harder to live that life here…it would be easier in a sense to move to Haiti…..but being christian isn’t “saving grace” through works…..i think jesus asks us to look at our heart and find out what motivates us….you just asking the questions is an awesome way to start!!! a lot of good people do a lot of good things but are not christians….what defines a christian???.just john 3:16??????…..i am still trying to figure what being christian is all about and sometimes i thinking that is exactly why God sent us here to earth……

    keri

  3. Maris, you never fail to make me stop and think. How real is my faith if I don’t live it out in a real way? How can I say that Jesus loves me and showed it by dying for me, but I’m not willing to give of my money, time, or abilities? While we aren’t saved by our works, isn’t faith without works dead? It just goes back to the fact that I am being convicted daily of not being involved enough, of not doing enough.

  4. i think we can’t ignore any part of scripture. but especially the uncomfortable ones. maybe start with ministering to & being an example to your family. then sort of move outward from there. be Christ to your next door neighbors, volunteer in your town / church (or if your church doesn’t offer these opportunities, really consider impacting the world by giving to a known trusted ministry) w/outreaches that target these hurting people ~ the orphans (i.e.perhaps big brother big sister, who help at-risk youth or volunteer at your nearest pregnancy resource cneter) the poor (hand of hope w/joyce meyer or one.org) the widows (visit nursing homes, sing & read for, listen to & play cards w/elderly men and women) the prisoners (send a Christmas present to the children of inmates thru http://www.angeltree.org or actually participate in a prison ministry team – i did this on a worship team for 18mo.s & it was an amazing experience.)
    these are just some thoughts about how we, the average joe Christian, can follow Christ by doing what He has clearly told us to do in this passage you wrote about. the trick is – gettin off your butt & doing it. ; ) my faith/works ratio is sooo off balance it’s not funny…but i’ll not let my faith die in a pool of non-works… i need to go & think more of all this.
    thanks

  5. Great comment Chelaners! Thanks for giving us some practical examples of things we can be doing today!!

  6. yes, thought you should know that this post got me thinking more & my husb. & talkin’ more…about living out our faith. we are both now more convicted about how we spend our time re:serving, loving as Jesus did. so much so, that we abandoned our selfish lazy-bones plans to lounge around the house memorial day weekend & decided to up & travel to visit a couple of widows that happen to be close to us – both his grandmothers – so we packed up in 1 hr., & off we drove 250 mi. to kilgore, tx.
    it was time well spent & the grandmas were unbelievably grateful. i even had an opp. to give my new Bible to one, and tell a walmart customer svc lady that God loved her! it was soooo cool. she said thank you very much, & that it meant a lot to her. it felt so great to walk in obedience.
    anyway, thank you!

  7. chandler touched on this passage this weekend at the village (07/27/08)… kinda put a new twist on things for me. the podcast should be up in a few days–check it out when you get the chance! http://www.thevillagechurch.net

  8. This verse, along with Isaiah 58: 6-12, hit me between the eyes back in 1996-97 while I was recovering from open heart surgery and praying a lot. Long story short, this passage and the one in Isaiah changed my life. In 1998 I went to the mission field in China. Stayed there almost six years. It was the best decision I have ever made. Sometimes service is tough. But we are, indeed, called to the “Mission of the Towel,” just as Jesus demonstrated when he washed all those smelly feet.

    Mick

  9. Hi Maris, I kind of stumbled upon your blog as I was surfing on blogs about adoption. Great stuff you have here and I decided to stay awhile and read this post of yours. I became a Christian in 2006 and I struggle daily to follow Christ, the cost is way too high. But it’s the cost that I’m willing to pay (see Luke 14: 25-35).

    In regards to Matthew 25:32-46, I think you are on track. Reading about your life in this blog, I think you and your husband are wonderful people, an awesome couple who love people and sincerely want to help people. However I couldn’t agree more with what Chelaners wrote, that you could start ministering to & being an example to your family etc. I love the idea that you want to move to Haiti, by all means go for it. But you can also start serving and ministering to your own community and your own church. There’re many poor people out there. For example, your neighbors/friends/family might be rich in terms of materials but what about their spirituality? Do they know about God and the hope He offers? Suprisingly there’re so many people around us who lack nothing but inside, in their hearts, they’re crying out for some meaning in life-they’re crying out for God. And to these people you can reach out to. Share your faith with them, pray, study up the bible with them, give them hope etc. If they refused to listen, simply show good and godly examples, sometimes our lives are the only bibles people ever read. We’re afterall are salt and light of the world. Show them the way to God and don’t compromise in your convictions.

    Another area I think you can serve is by using your blog (though I think you’re already there :)). Share stories about August, parenting in godly way etc. Make this as your personal ministry.

    Above all, continue to cultivate your relationship with God as we don’t want to fall under the category of people mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23.

    Olivia


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