Same Kind Of Different As Me

Day 3 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

God’s Heart for the “Least of These”


“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:” James 1:27 tells us, “to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”


While the Bible certainly emphasizes the importance of faith in Christ, it also makes clear that what we do as his followers matters. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith,” says Ephesians 2:8, but that’s followed by the less familiar phrase in verse 10: “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


Also, James reminds us that genuine faith will show itself in action. He wrote, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:15-17).


Combine these passages with the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40 concerning our treatment of those who are hungry, thirsty, in need of clothing or shelter, or of a hospital or prison visit, and we begin to understand how important our actions really are. Jesus declared, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (verse 40).


Consider:


· Jesus said whatever we do for “the least of these,” we’re doing for him. Does this bring a person or group of people to mind?


· Jesus said he “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). How does this inspire you to serve?


· Jesus said it is the sick who need the doctor (Mark 2:17) – and he went to them. Is there a ministry in your church, or a local outreach mission in your community, where you could serve those in need?