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The Least of These

I love to read magazines.  Especially those that help me grow spiritually!  I used to be your tabloid, People, Glamour kindof girl, until my thirst for God overpowered my thirst for useless information.  That's when my search for periodicals became one in which would help me gain the wisdom and knowledge that God promises to give freely when asked.

My two most favorite magazines of all time have been Pray! magazine



and Discipleship Journal magazine.


Sadly, both of these magazines have stopped publication.   Devastating!  :-(

I have since not been able to find another magazine that can match the caliber of information as was submitted by these two magazines.  I am still in mourning even though it's been (give or take) a year or so. 

I did run across a magazine that I had stockpiled to peruse at a later date whenever time allowed.  It's back from 2009!  (Where has the time gone?!)  The magazine is published by Rick Warren and is titled 'Purpose Driven Connection."  I haven't even done the research to see if this was a one-time publication or is still in publication, but it equally matches Pray! magazine and Discipleship Journal in how each article makes you want to sit & savor every word rather than scim over to catch the good parts.  I love this fact, for it makes the material last a lot longer and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what nuggets you'll glean from the next article!  I love material that makes you ponder it's points throughout your day.  Having said that, the following is an adaptation of an article written by Kay Warren that struck a chord with me this morning:

"For I was hungry, and you fed me.  I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.  I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing.  I was sick, and you cared for me.  I was in prison, and you visited me (Matthew 25:35-36 NLT).

The disciples must have had a puzzled look on their faces as they questioned Jesus thinking He had mistaken them for someone else.  "Lord, are you sure you're thinking of the right disciples?  We don't remember feeding you when you were hungry or visiting you in prison.  We sure don't recall you being naked and giving you some clothes.  Were you ever sick?  Must have been when you woke up early and went to the other side of the lake.  We think you are getting your facts mixed up."

And Jesus responds with those unforgettable words:  "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40 NIV).

Jesus' words are already convicting because we realize how little we've done for the sick, the poor, those in prison, the homeless.  But then He takes it one step further:

Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, "Away with you, you cursed one, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons!  For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me.  I was thirsty, and you didn't give me anything to drink.  I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home.  I was naked, and you didn't give me clothing.  I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me."
    
"I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me."  And they will go away into eternal life (Matthew 25:41-46 NLT).

Proof of our love for Jesus is found in loving and serving the sick, the poor, the weak and the marginalized.  You can't physically do these things for Jesus, but when you do it for them  -  the least of these  -  you are doing it for Him.

And when you are not doing it for them, you're not doing it for Him.

Ouch.  (Whew! I just got burned!)

Deliberately choosing to enter into the experience of a fellow human being sets the stage for God to make an entrance.

Choosing to suffer with them proves our love for our Savior and at the same time proves to the least, the last, and the lost that there is a Savior who loves them.
- - - - - - - - - - -
That's good stuff right there, I don't care who ya are!!

I thank God for magazines such as this one (and Pray! and DJ) as they put things in every-day perspective and give life application that can pierce & tender one's heart and change one's way of thinking.  May my heart be receptive to God's word, always.
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