“He will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:45
He caught my eye as I watched him with his little basket walking the aisles of the small rural grocery store. He was old, bent over, disheveled and not well dressed.
Suddenly he was beside me and we were both looking at the same items on the shelf in front of us.
There were a number of white bags of various products. I found the bag of grits I was looking for, but couldn’t help but notice him holding a white bag while closely studying it. I put my grits in the cart and started to walk away when he looked up and said “excuse me sir,” as he extended the bag towards me. Pointing to the label, he said “Does this say sugar.” When I said yes, he thanked me profusely.
As I drove away, I couldn’t get him out of my mind. It was hard to fathom that there was someone shopping alongside me who couldn’t read the word sugar. While I thought about all I have, I thought of that little old man who couldn’t read. I wondered what kind of house he lived in and what he had done throughout the many years of his life.
And, I thought about how God made him and loves him just like he loves and made me. Why was I so blessed with an education? More importantly what defines my responsibility to reach out to people like that, those less fortunate than me?
Jesus said, “…whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” The Bible makes it clear that our Lord identifies himself in an inextricable way with the poor. Jesus told his disciples that when they feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, provide shelter for the homeless, clothe the naked, nurse the sick, and visit the imprisoned, they are actually doing these things for him.
There is no debate among Christians about whether we have an obligation to serve God. However, some Christians seem to show less conviction when it comes to our obligation to serve the poor. Scripture, however, eliminates any ambiguity.
There are hurting and hungry people right around us. Have you thought lately about the provisions in your pantry, and those people who have none in theirs?
Do you really want to be blessed? Try focusing on giving more than getting and especially focus on giving to those who have the least.
One who lets slip by the opportunity to serve another misses one of the richest experiences life has to offer.
Question: Have there been opportunities to serve others lately that you’ve missed? Good news: God is gracious enough to forgive you and offer you more chances to serve!
by John Grant
Used by Permission
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney
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