I came across a very good article in my devotions by Mark Altrogge, a senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, which I felt I should pass on. I will not be quoting the full article, but I will be adding to it my own thoughts. (MA) will indicate what I have copied from his teaching. Read on:-
(MA) A lot of people are going to be surprised on judgment day. Because the things they do to believers they are really doing to Jesus himself personally. Everything from ISIS beheading Christians to North Koreans abusing believers in prison camps to that person at work who makes fun of you because of your faith. They’re not hurting mere humans, but everything they do they’re doing to Jesus himself, As Saul found out. The story can be read here in. (Acts 9:1–5)
Jesus asked Paul “Why are you persecuting Me”, not why are you persecuting Christians. We need to remember, when we do or say hurtful or nasty or wicked things to another Christian, we are actually doing it to Jesus, so we need to think about that. The reason for that is because we are all a part of the body of Jesus Christ. 1Co 12:27 All of you together are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of that body. Our main goal here on earth is to glorify God. Remember Jesus is God, so that means hurting other Christians is hurting God and is not glorifying God.
(MA) But those who persecute Christians are not the only ones who are going to be surprised on judgment day. Jesus said believers are going to be surprised:
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34–39)
Anything we do for the lowliest believer—“the least of these my brothers”—we do to Jesus. Anything. And we don’t simply do it for Jesus, we do it to Jesus: “You did it to me.”
All those nappies you change, all those stories you tell your kids at night, all those rides you give to the volleyball tournament—all will be rewarded. Every dollar you give to the poor,
When you help a brother move, spend the day with a crew working on a widow’s house, pray for that discouraged sister, or slip that brother $20 to get some food, remember who you’re doing it to. Even the smallest acts of love we do for believers will be rewarded:
And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
“Even a cup of water!” Most of the deeds Jesus will reward won’t be monumental, but the smallest acts of kindness in his name.
What are we doing for our suffering Christian brothers and sisters who are starving in other countries, or for those who we know are sick, and need a helping hand in some way? Are we giving some of our wealth to the poor and needy? Do we take time out on Saturdays to help someone shift house, or to mow some ones lawn? Perhaps we could phone or email a friend who is going through a rough patch to give encouragement, and let them know we are thinking of them and praying for them. Let’s tell someone who does not know about God’s love and salvation about Jesus, and about God’s love for them? Let our deeds speak louder than our words.
I think at times we need to ask ourselves, “Do I have time for Jesus and for God’s word, or am I only interested in the things of this world, and all its fancy toys and mind distracting things which stop me thinking about the Lord, and about others?” I believe the answer to this question will determine where we spend eternity. We must be careful that we don’t let the things of this world become our God. Jesus must come first in our lives.
(MA) So, do whatever you can today to bless brother or sister or someone in need. It doesn’t have to be big. And don’t bother trying to remember it because Jesus will remind you of it, (and reward you for it) on judgment day.
Do things in your life that bring glory to God, that is why we are here! People who have a real relationship with the Lord, and who help and give to other people, are much more blessed of God, and much happier, than people who think only of themselves.