Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 25:31-40. In these verses, Jesus is talking about that time when he comes back in judgment of all humankind. "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For 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.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”
What amazes me most about today’s Bible text is the surprise expressed by the righteous people. Most of us like to keep score of all the good deeds they have ever done. They want to give themselves a good report card. But the people in this passage don’t pride themselves on all their good deeds. They don’t point out to Jesus all the ways they helped other people. It’s as if these good deeds came naturally because of their character – in fact, they probably did. Righteous people have received the heart of Jesus, which means they cannot help but feed the hungry, heal the sick, and accept outcasts. This ought to give us pause as we each look for the motivation in our lives.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, shape my heart, Lord, to make me more like you. Teach my mind to see you. Take my hands and let me serve you with them. Use my mouth to tell of your forgiveness. All praise and glory to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.