Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Was A Stranger and You Took Me In

Matthew 25:35-36

"For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me"...
Matthew 25:40

"And the King will answer and say to them, assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."

     I see a filthy man in dreadlocks walking around town begging for money and I walk the other way for fear he may hurt me.  I see a man walking in the heat that lives on the street, while I'm riding in the air conditioned car and just pass by.  I listen to a friend who has just lost her father, because she is my best friend.  I accept neighbors into my home because they have no air conditioning at the time.  I accept them because I know them.  What is wrong with this picture?  Do I only help those who I care for or do I reach out to the unloved and give them what they need?  Makes you think, doesn't it?  Jesus wants us to give to those in need whether they are not bathed and needy, or whether they are respectable people in our eyes.  Everyone needs Jesus, and those who are troubled need us to help them in times of trouble.

     Will I ever reach out to the man in dreadlocks and buy him a hamburger at Burger King?  Will I give the man walking around in the heat a ride to the store?  That's what Jesus asks us to do.  I know, it's not safe to give strangers a ride.  Use your judgment when helping strangers.  If God prompts you, do it.  If you feel threatened, be careful.  Don't be stupid.  Helping loved ones is easy.  Helping those on the street is another story at times.  Are we sheep or goats?  Do we feed them? Do we buy them a coke or give them a glass of water?  Do we clothe strangers by giving to The Salvation Army?   Do we visit hospitals or nursing homes, or do we visit prisons?  If we do, we do it to Jesus.  If we don't, we are not doing it to Jesus and lacking in faith and obedience.  

     Hebrews 13:2 says "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so, some have unwittingly entertained angels."

      Don't miss out on ministering to angels.  Help those who need it and do it with caution, but also with love.  Before meeting someone and getting to know them, we are all strangers.  Get to know the ones who have nowhere to go or have no one to turn to and be a friend that Jesus wants you to be.  There were times in my life when I didn't have a bed to sleep on and I felt down and humiliated and someone helped me.  So I know how those who have nowhere to go feel, and yet sometimes I forget and just turn away.  My prayer is that I will give to those who have nothing in spite of how they look or where they come from, and ask Jesus for forgiveness for turning away from the unfortunate.  Hopefully someday I will never turn away a stranger.  Will you? 

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