A Montrose Church Lent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Today's reading: Matthew 25:31-46
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus challenged His disciples with these words, "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." He believed that there is a lifestyle to be lived by those who follow Him, a lifestyle filled with "good deeds." We say words. We read our Bibles. We sing songs. We work and play. We learn and grow. Yet, as wonderful as these things are, Jesus teaches us that the way we are most faithful to Him in our world is by our "good deeds." When we come to Matthew 25, we see how much Jesus meant it when He called His disciples to let their light shine through a lifestyle of "good deeds".
How do we discern that someone is a true follower of Jesus? Jesus answers the question Himself when He says, "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….Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (v 35-36, 40).
As the old and probably overused adage says, we can’t just talk the talk; we must walk the walk. Our incarnational God got right down into the stuff of life with us, and our response to Him is to get right down into the stuff of life with others. We take seriously the realities of life in a troubled world. We live in that world as those who share good news, good news of salvation, good news that feeds the hungry, gives water to the thirsty, gives clothing to the naked, embraces the stranger, cares for the sick, embraces the prisoner and treats them with dignity. In other words, to live as the people of Jesus means that we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, be they healthy or sick, rich or poor, our neighbors or strangers.
In Lent may we come to know again that when God could have written us off, He included us (see Romans 5:8). God took us seriously, poured out His infinite grace into us, and called us to Himself. So, too, we don’t write people off. We stand with them, seeking to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Would you pray with Me?
Dear Jesus, flood my soul with Your Spirit that my life may reflect Yours. Let me praise You in the way which You love best, by shining on those around me. Let me preach You without preaching; not by words but by my example, Help me to live not just for myself but to live for others. May my life be a life of "hands-on" compassion. Help me to live out the virtues of Your Word which says to all followers of Jesus, "as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12). Amen.
- Read all the daily Lent devotionals on our blog.
- Join us for Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.
- Get the Easter schedule.
- Subscribe to eNews to receive via email.
- Watch our sermon series.
- Get service schedules and/or learn more about Montrose Church.