MATTHEW 25:31-45 – “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 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. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 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. 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, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 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.’ “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. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 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.’ 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?’ 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.’
THEME OF THE DAY. NOT ACTS OF SERVICE – A LIFE OF SERVICE. J.C. Ryle said of today’s scripture “There are few passages in the whole Bible more solemn and soul-searching.” He is right and today’s nugget contains far more the words of the Lord than mine, and that too is right. Take time to ponder and pray through the passage.
The scene is the final judgment of humanity. At this judgment, there are two classes of people – sheep, children of God and goats, those not His children. The judge is the Lord Jesus. The outcome is eternal bliss or eternal horror. What is to be judged are deeds in life by each person. But let’s make sure we understand an important truth. This judgment is not to determine one’s eternal destiny. It is to give evidence of the eternal destiny already determined.
Jesus makes an important statement in the opening words of this scene. He said, “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.” He is affirming the doctrine of sovereign election of His people. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul would tell us in his letter to the Ephesians – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (Ephesians 1:3-4). We should never debate or worse, deny, the doctrine of sovereign election. We should submit and rejoice for it is a Biblical truth whether we understand its fullest implications or not. But here is the lesson for today . . .
Go back and read today’s scripture. Pay attention to how oblivious God’s true children were to their acts of serving people. It was not doing acts of service. They were living a life of servant-hood. This is the Christian life. We don’t look for service to people. We live service to people. It is a way of life that becomes natural. It is the living out of what God ordains for us in Christ – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).
So, take time and ask the question – “Am I doing selective acts of service for the Lord or living a life of servant-hood for the Lord?” The latter defines the Christian. The former a mere religious person void of life in Christ.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I see my life giving You isolated acts of service instead a life surrendered to service.”
QUOTE: “Being a servant and living a life of service are not the same. The former contains isolated acts. The latter is life.”