Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Following Jesus?

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in." Hungry not only for bread- but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing- but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a home of bricks- but homeless because of rejection.

(Mother Teresa )

As followers of Jesus, how do we represent Him in our personal lives to those who are hurting?

Is this the primary ministry of our churches and ministries or are we more concerned with building bigger buildings or raising more money?

If this is the standard that is required of us as Christ followers, why aren't we more concerned about the "least of these?"

Why do we spend our money on second homes when some people don't even have a place to live? Why do we lavish ourselves with designer clothes and shoes when destitute parents aren't able to provide adequate clothing for their children?

Why do we preach love and grace in our churches, but we turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to those who are hurting and broken?

Why do we rip each other apart with hurtful words when we have been given mercy?

Why do we withhold love and respect from those who are different from us?

If these questions make us uncomfortable now, just imagine how we will feel when Jesus, who gave everything for us, asks us why we weren't willing to give to others.

As His hands and feet in this world, why are we presenting Him as a stingy, self-absorbed, angry God who doesn't care?

In the light of eternity, what will it matter if you are president of a charity when you steal the home, food, and clothing from people in need to build your own empire in the name of God? I wonder what you will say when He looks deep into your soul and reveals your greed and deception for everyone to see?

Perhaps we need to throw out all our religious strategies and traditions, and start to follow Jesus. But wait, if we go to that extreme, we may also be homeless and poor . . . or it may lead us to a cross.

Brenda Branson, Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved

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