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Survival of the Fittest Meets the Gospel of Grace

April 17, 2016

From my quiet time today (I missed today’s sermon but understand the message was similar, no…it’s not a coincidence. It’s an important message for me too).

From Matthew 25:31-46 (ESV):

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 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.35 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, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’40 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.’

41 “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. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 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.’ 44 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?’45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Love the unlovable and the unwanted; show mercy and grace to others, even to those who don’t look like us, act like us, dress like us, or even believe like us. The same grace we’ve been given ought to be what we show others. It’s a gift, and an awesome, life-saving/life-changing one at that!

From Proverbs 25:21-22 (ESV)
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, 22 for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.

In Romans 12:19-20 (ESV)
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

It all really comes back down to what Jesus said when he told his disciples what was expected of them (and for us as well) in John 13:34-35 (ESV)

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

That bit of what we would consider strange and weird today helped spread the Gospel across the world. Perhaps it’s time to once again go back to that command. Reach across the aisles, cross the picket lines, put down our signs and show what we’re for instead of what we’re against. We’re all wounded from something, but it seems as if we’d rather shoot our own wounded sometimes, or make more wounded bystanders than meeting the needs and binding the wounds of those who are left bleeding out.

After all, we’re all somebody else’s Samaritan. The choice is how we react to the wounded.




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