Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
After the events of this week and our 9 – 11 Remembrance, I was going to speak on a totally separate topic. Then I thought, “Wait a minute! What better topic then LOVE., What is missing on this earth; what is happening and why?” So, I decided to stick with the original topic and talk about the one topic we so often forget in our hurried hustle bustle life. That of Giving to another; Giving to those we may not even know.. That of sharing our love and giving that love to our fellow man. That of sharing the love of Christ with our fellow man. What greater honor – loving and sharing and giving. If we all followed that creed as is described above and below in scripture, we would wake up to realize the true beauty of the earth. I want to encourage each of you as you finish reading this short message to pray/meditate for a while and let God tell you what He wants you to do – what He wants to accomplish through you. How can you display and live the fruits of the spirit.
The Sheep and the Goats-
Matthew 25:31-46; When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed of 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, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers 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 cloth 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, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”
“Man hath no greater love than this, to give his life to his fellow man,” stated St. Paul. Have you ever thought about how far you would go to “lay down you life for your fellow man?” Have you ever witnessed someone else doing this?
We all have envisioned ourselves as good Christians leaping out in front of a car to save a young child or running into a burning house to save a baby, or jumping in front of someone to save them from a fist to the jaw. Now that does take great courage, but that is one small act in the grand scheme of things. And that is actually giving your death to your fellow man, not giving your life. So what’s the difference?
When we study and analyze it, we realize that this passage is about laying down your life. It means that you wake up each morning, each day, and purposely dedicate your life to others this day, to follow the words and mission that Jesus did, as is described in Matthew above. And the blessing is that you do this every single morning when you wake up and then proceed to open yourself up to others again tomorrow and the next day and the next day………….
Jesus said to love one another as He has loved us. He gave everything away – for you and for me. Do we take that for granted? Do we expect more and more? Do we think to ourselves – “Well God, what are You going to do for me today?” Or do we wake up each morning and dedicate our lives to others, as Jesus did? Do we say instead, “Well God, what can I do for You today?” Then open yourself up to the answer and move forward with it.
Easy to say, not so easy to do. It takes commitment, will power, energy, stamina, purpose, courage, selflessness, direction.
Yet, isn’t that exactly what Jesus did for us?
Try it. Try living for others as Jesus commanded. Yes, try it – you might like it.