“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10 NIV Read full chapter
With Love, Cindy
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“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV
If Jesus was hungry, would you buy Him a meal? If Jesus was thirsty, would you give Him a glass of water? Of course you would!
Jesus explains that when we have compassion on “the least”, it is like we are doing it for Him. It is not more impressive to God to help important people. If you are teaching a Sunday School class to children, or if you are a school teacher, or if you are a mother, you are doing it “unto the least”.
There is no glory in teaching your own kids, no glory in teaching a children’s Sunday School class, no glory in being a school teacher, and no glory in caring for children with disabilities. But, Jesus said,
“… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
It may not seem like you are serving Jesus when you care for the children in your midst, but you are. Compassion is a result of knowing Jesus. Just as compassion flows from Him, it will flow from you.
Understand then, that your service to the least is of great importance to God. Never think that caring for children is not important. It is! Whether they are the children in your church, children you don’t know, or your own children, it is very important to God.
This is just one aspect of this parable, but it is an important one. I know this parable doesn’t only apply to children, but I want to highlight it as an encouragement to everyone who devotes their time to teaching our children. Do it with all your heart, as unto the Lord. Consider Jesus’ words:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 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, 36 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.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 34-40 NIV
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” Psalm 103:8-10 NIV
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9 NIV
Maybe there are Christians that have never stumbled. I just know that I’m not one of them! When I’m judged, I hope that God takes into account the hurts and circumstances that led me down wrong paths. I have plenty of excuses. I could explain it all. I don’t want God or anyone else to expect me to be perfect.
But, do I expect others to be perfect? Do I forget to take into account all the hurts and circumstances that may be in their lives? Even worse, do I judge a person based on how they look?
Jesus said, “In the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” Mathew 7:2
I don’t know about you, but I want to be judged with abundant mercy!
Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Mathew 7:3
“For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 AMPC.
I work in a large and very diverse middle school. I have an opportunity to ‘love and not judge’ everyday. God has reminded me that many of these kids have not had the advantages in life that I have.
When I get impatient with a student and inwardly roll my eyes in disgust, Jesus speaks to my heart, “And you’re perfect? Do you even know what’s going on in this kid’s life?” Then I am reminded of things I do know. He could be falling asleep in class because he slept in a car last night, or maybe he doesn’t have a bed of his own, or maybe he was left alone with a crying baby all night while his mother was out.
When a student tells me to shut up, do I get angry and take it personally? God, remind me that maybe this child is never spoken to with respect and love at home. Maybe he is being abused and is lashing out at authority.
Maybe this child is apathetic because he hasn’t eaten since lunch at school yesterday.
Maybe he is apathetic because his mom died this weekend.
Maybe he acts out because his mom never shows up for visitation and he is disappointed over, and over, and over again.
Maybe, maybe, maybe ….
If only we could see God’s plan for those we tend to judge. If only we could see them with God’s eyes of love and mercy. I am not special or better because of what was given to me. If anything, more is expected from me. More patience, more love, more understanding.
One morning on my way to school, I prayed “Father, I don’t know how to make a difference in the lives of my students, but you do. That very day my principal posted an article, The Judgement Cure. The author said, “You cannot influence anyone as long as you are judging them.”
How’s that for a quick answer? Wow! That was almost a year ago and I’m still trying to learn this lesson. I believe it is the key to influencing others.
Because I have worked in 5 different public schools, I have seen abuse that the average middle class person may never be exposed to. Examples of abuse, neglect and suffering that break my heart. May God soften our hearts and teach us to walk in love.
“if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. … Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13: 2-8
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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