First posted on Facebook on 7 April 2013:
Was reminded of the song 'God of Justice' this morning. Just scrolled through my blog and found an entry I posted years ago about it! This topic has been on my mind again recently. And here's my reflection for the past few weeks...
Jesus spent most of his time with and ministering to the poor, the sick, the needy and of course the sinners (eg prostitutes, tax-collectors). And His heart is still with them today. If we say we love the Lord and love to spend time with Him, then we ought to go look for Him among the poor, sick, needy and oppressed cos He's right there! In fact, He spoke to me once when I was in an orphanage in India that He had brought me there to be with Him because He loves me and wants me by His side! What a privilege it is to be able to serve alongside my Beloved.
Also, if we say that we are Christ's disciples, then our aim should be to copy what He does and our ultimate goal is to be become just like Him. So since He chose to get His hands grubby by mixing with the lowliest of the lowliest, so should we. And seeing as He didn't count the costs and sacrificed His own life for those He loves, shouldn't we then also be willing to give up everything to continue His work?
And if we say that He is our Lord, then we should show that He is indeed our Lord and Master by obeying His word. This is what He said:
“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. 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, 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.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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.’
Finally, if we say that we have faith in God, then if the faith we claim to have is truly a genuine, saving faith, it would naturally and should be expected to be accompanied by deeds:
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But to most of us, including myself, this is a tall order. It requires us to put aside our own needs and sometimes even our family's too, in order to meet someone else's needs. It requires an everflowing stream of love, patience, strength, wisdom and even creativity in order to keep doing it despite difficulties, setbacks and challenges.
But let us not forget that we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared us in advance to do.
He has given each of us a set of gifts and talents which we are meant to use for good works (and not for our own glory or rewards, mind you). Not only that, He has given us good and perfect blessings in our lives which we are supposed to pass on to bless others (and not to store up for ourselves - look what happened to the guy who did that in Luke 12:16-21!) All we need to do is to lean on God's understanding and trust that He has the best plan in store for us. As long as we are willing, He will enable and empower us to do the work He has prepared for us to do.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Cor 9:8