MATTHEW 25:37-40: “Then the people who have done what is right will answer him. ‘Lord,’ they will ask, ‘when did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you needing clothes and give them to you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘What I’m about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (NiRV)
OBSERVATION: What is the evidence of a transformed heart? What is the evidence of a growing faith? What separates the “sheep” from the “goats”? WHAT IS THE MYSTERY OF LOVE? It is not simply acts of kindness or service. A closer examination reveals, it is the origin of these actions.
The world is replete with charitable acts. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day loved to give their alms to be seen of men. I have often heard people bragging about how much they have given to charity. Yet, the interesting thing about the people that Jesus refers to in Matthew 25, who did what was right, is that they did not even realize they were doing it. In other words, they were not doing it for show, they were not doing it out of coercion, they were not doing it to achieve some level of religious achievement – they were just doing it!
It is even more amazing when they were totally surprised by their King’s commendation. They could not even remember when they had done these works of love and charity. Then the King pulls back the curtain to reveal the sincerity and selflessness of their love. He said – “What I’m about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”
Real love, God’s love, that is the evidence of a transformed heart, naturally flows in acts of kindness toward others. It does not keep a tally. It does not give out of obligation. And, because it flows so freely, it does not even remember what it has done. This is true faith working out of true love. This is the evidence of a transformed heart that has been redeemed by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus made notice of this when He told His disciples,
- “I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 NIRV
This is the fulfillment of the Great Commandments,
- “Jesus replied, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 NIRV
Lord, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me – Your Spirit within me! Transform my heart by your love, so that my worship is acceptable to you, and that my love is a natural expression of your goodness and mercy toward others. Transform my heart so that I naturally love others as You have loved me.
In Jesus Name!