When did you last feed Yeshua?
In the parable of the sheep and goats, you know the passage (Matthew 24:31-46), Yeshua tells the sheep – his people – that he was rewarding them because they saw him – Yeshua – hungry and they fed him; thirsty and gave him drink; a stranger and took him in. “I was naked and you clothed me; sick and you visited me; in PRISON and you came to me” (verses 33-36).
Tell me, when did you last feed Yeshua? When did you last invite Christ himself in or spend time with him in prison? In fact, have you ever been to a prison, ever, to speak to the souls inside?
So Matthew 25 is a nice story, but are we doing any of it? Can you and I actually point to a time and place and people who needed clothes and shoes and we clothed them, or people in prison and we visited? Or strangers who needed a place to stay and we brought them in? Have you ever given a thirsty believer an actual clean cup of water? Have you ever knelt beside someone (other than immediate family) who was sick and prayed for him or her for as long as it took?
When we love and take care of the body of Christ – the believers especially – our Savior considers it being done to him. In the same way, if we disregard or attack his Body of believers, that too, he takes personally. Remember to Saul (Paul) he said, “Why are you persecuting ME”.
God reminds us through James what a cop-out it is to just say, “Be warm, be filled, my thoughts and prayers are with you” when we hear of people needing real tangible help – but besides claiming to think about them, we do nothing tangible? That’s a cop-out and NOT what we’re being called to be a part of!
We all, including me, we all speak of love and faith, but are our deeds proving our faith and obedience?
James 2:14-17 “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Click on “continue reading” to discover ways and ideas on how you can start to fulfill these words of Yeshua and James, his brother.
This is all very real. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Start with your own neighbors and even family. SO many aging parents are neglected when they are in a “prison” of loneliness and depression but their kids are too busy, or estranged, or have too much going on to lift their own parents’ heart. How badly they need someone to come help weed their garden, take out the garbage, and give the house a good cleaning – or just spend time and give them a long, quiet hug – is doing that to Yeshua. Some everyday tasks suddenly become impossible for a while after a knee replacement. Be there.
You have neighbors who might be able to use a helping hand once in a while, especially aging neighbors. We live in a 55+ community though it seems the average person here is well past 70. There are lots of opportunities to help if you open your eyes on how you can help Yeshua.
You can make an automatic monthly donation to St Jude’s Children’s hospital or other “help the sick children” charities – and give them some HOPE and a helping hand. The donations don’t have to be huge to have an impact; even just $19 a month from many people can make all the difference to these people – and to Yeshua.
Mercy Chefs. You can either donate to them in times of catastrophe or you can even SIGN UP to be one of the helping hands when disaster comes to your area. Mercy Chefs feed hundreds and thousands of people who are displaced, wet, hungry and forlorn after hurricanes and tornadoes and floods come through. I love that group. How about signing up to be one of those actually doing something and not just making comments about how horrible it must be as you watch the disasters on TV?
Stop talking and start doing.
Wounded Warriors fund. OK, we’re not for war, but these brave souls did go and defend our country and in the meantime lost a leg, or eyesight, or both arms, or suffered terrible burns in these IED explosions in Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan. They and their spouses and children could use some help. Many of these folks will –if they’re not now – someday be Yeshua’s brethren.
Or if you’d like, we would love some help helping support 28 orphans in Kenya that our Outreach Foundation has taken under our wing. Most of their dads contracted AIDS, gave it to their wives, and then both parents died from that or other causes. Several of the children were born with AIDS and need the help and medication from helpers like you. Some are only 11 or 12 years old. ALL of them have no father and no mother. But they can have YOU. Since starting this, they now have a home that doesn’t leak all night during heavy rains, they have bunk beds, a real toilet area, real fresh clean water, food, medicine, jackets, shoes, clothes, Bibles – and yes, now even real schooling with uniforms. One of the girls was overheard saying, “Now we can go to school in our uniforms, just like the rich children do”.
This all takes money, lots of money for that many lives over time. And every night they can go to bed now without feeling hunger pangs because a few of you decided to do something. And in so doing, you were feeding Yeshua.
These were truly fatherless/motherless small children when we started – some only 4-5-6 years old. They eat even more now that they are teenagers. They were hungry and there were some of you who helped feed them. Thank you for feeding Yeshua, who is saying, “you did it unto Me”. They were thirsty and a handful of people gave them a cup of water from the well you built. In fact their orphanage is informally called Cup of Water Home for Children. They were lost, and some of you helped look for them and find them a warm bed and a hot breakfast.
My point is this: don’t just read Matthew 25 about the sheep and goats. No, stop thinking about it, stop just reading it – start DOING what Yeshua says. DO something. See a need? DO something.
James adds that in fact “PURE religion” is … do you remember it?
James 1:27 -- “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
When was the last time you did anything for orphans and widows?
So I take this opportunity to thank the handful of you who ARE heeding Christ’s words and are feeding HIM every time you send money to feed and educate these children. Some of these children are now in the top 1-5 in their class! They call the pastor who heads all this up – Grandpa. His wife they call Grandma. May our God reward them fabulously in the life to come for all they’ve done for these boys and girls.
If you wish to help out, you may. Just go to this website – look up “Contact us” on the home page, and you can take it from there. Some of you recently donated enough to pay for the costs of building a meeting hall – I mean the 70-80 brethren (including the children) who come each sabbath to hear their pastor expound on God’s word. And yes, these children pray and worship and thank God that people like some of you, have come into their lives. They should have it ready by the Feast of Tabernacles. Before this, they worshiped under the hot blazing sun or they endured the rain showers.
On the HOME page of this site, look up the pulldown “KENYA Photos” and enjoy some of the pictures. I see we need to update the pictures. Click on some to get the whole picture.
But whether or not you help us help orphans – the important thing is this: ask yourself, “When was the last time I encouraged Jesus, gave him a hot bowl of soup and clean glass of water? When was the last time I replaced his tattered clothes and gave him something new? When did I put sandals and shoes on his feet and give him a clean bed to sleep in?
Because when you actually DO these things to a believer in Christ – or even a future believer in Christ – you’re actually doing it to Yeshua, to Christ himself.
And if you’re not familiar with the account in Matthew 25, go read that whole last section of that chapter. Let Yeshua speak to YOU, to your heart.
I really like the fact that these “sheep” seemed to do these things instinctively – without thought, without your right hand knowing what your left hand was doing. It was automatic. They saw a need -- and filled it. When Jesus commended them, they were confused, “when did we see you needing all of these things and did something to help you?” (Matthew 25:37-40) I love that.
Matthew 25:37-40 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
So a few months from now, if someone asks you – “when did you last feed Jesus” – you might have to think first, because it’s now so natural, so second nature to you, that when you see someone needing your help, you’re there, you do something – and all without even thinking about it.
And in so doing, Yeshua takes it personally as you take care of his Body. He feels your love personally.