Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

What have you done to Jesus?

''Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.''

Matthew 25:37-40

The “least of these My brethren” were Jews who came to believe in Jesus Christ. What makes them “least”? The mere fact that they had in a way obtained freedom (from guilt and the law) which they had not previously known, in like manner. Whoever Jesus sets free, is truly free (John 8:32). They, however, did not truly understand and spiritually grasp this yet. They were, so to speak, inexperienced, unsure, questioning, childlike and, somewhat aggressively expressed, “mentally unprofessional”. Are we not more often like this? Weaknesses in character as an unbeliever, prior to conversion, and that to which we were particularly susceptible to and challenged by, and what was difficult, will also still be found in believers. Do we know this? The spirit is renewed, but the flesh has remained the same. This warfare will remain with us, as Christians, during our entire lives on earth (Galatians 5:17). A man such as Paul, through his personal experience, was changed from a legalistic, heartless man into a free, merciful person. He learned not to judge people according to their outward appearance, but rather to empathize and offer constructive help. He got to know himself when Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. He was blind and now could see. In the parable of the king who was lenient towards a debtor and did not cast him into prison, but freed him and also spoke him free of his debt, and then the debtor himself thereafter judged someone indebted to him and condemned him (Matthew 18:23-25) we learn how not to treat one another. Hence the righteous judgment: ''O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?''

It is a pre-requisite for us to display, when another believer doesn't function in an optimal fashion, understanding and good, comforting and helpful words and not to think of oneself more highly than is good or true. Paul wrote in Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” If someone is not able to do something, or is unable to do it the same way that one does it, can sometimes also be due to God not having given him this particular gift. To criticize someone for this reason is therefore heartless and unjust. Certainly, Christians must also work on themselves and learn through their suffering. But, we should certainly not be the cause of the suffering of a brother or sister. We are not schoolmasters amongst ourselves – Galatians 3:25-27 “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” How someone has put on Christ, and how this affects his life directly and with time impacts his life, we often don't know amongst ourselves. For this reason, for Christ's sake, and in first place, we should accept others as they are – namely redeemed sinners and pardoned children of God. We read accordingly in 1 Peter 3:8-11 “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.” Amen.

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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