“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:45
Ouch, I have always read this Scripture as saying “Whatever you DID for one of the least of these you did for me.”
When I fed the hungry, I did it for Jesus.
When I gave clothes to a thrift store, I did it for Jesus.
When I gave from our financial blessings, I did it for Jesus.
And while these things may be true, it’s not what this verse says.
When I reject someone who is different than me, I reject Jesus.
When someone needs guidance and I say no, I say no to Jesus.
When I fail to step out in faith to follow my calling, I say no to Jesus.
I have to be honest with you, I am willing to help someone unless it’s messy and complicated. I can give food to someone who is hungry, clothes to someone without clothes but ask me to help them go from a messy, out of control life to one guided by Jesus and I just freeze. On social media, maybe but face to face-I put up a wall. I say no to Jesus.
It’s not that I don’t want to, I love to share how Jesus has transformed my life from being an alcohol, drug, relationship addicted lost soul to one that has been transformed by the love, grace and mercy of Jesus. I just want to do it on my terms. I don’t feel qualified to share it and guide others to the love, grace and mercy of Jesus when their lives are so unlike mine and so darn messy. Sad right? Yet, Jesus keeps putting women in my path that need to hear how God transformed my mess into a message. I seemed to have forgotten that my life was just as messy before I truly met Jesus.
But how do I get past what my flesh feels and what I know, in my Spirit, God is calling me to do?
I am priviledged to be a part of the launch team for Suzie Eller’s new book “Come With Me, Discovering the beauty of following where He leads” and part of being on her launch team, I get to read the Advance Reading Copy. In Chapter 4 “Loving People You Don’t Want to Love” on pg 58 Suzie says:
“What if God’s calling you to ministry where difficult people will be in the mix?
Further she asks:
“And what if you’re the difficult person? (Gasp!) We may not realize how our inability to love a difficult person translates to the lack of grace we give ourselves.”
I have been the difficult person because I have refused God’s calling on my life. I have refused to fully grasp God’s grace, mercy and agape love in my life. I have judged others with a standard I wouldn’t dare use on myself or more honestly I have used to judged myself.
and then Suzie adds:
“He asks the disciples to love difficult people-because difficult people matter to God.”
Reading this chapter, before church Sunday morning, before I just knew I would run into this one woman that will text me 82 times a day for help, convicted me to the core. You see, I would help you, if it didn’t inconvenience me. I would help you, if it fitted into my schedule. I would help you if it didn’t interfere with my life and most importantly I would help you if I loved you. This last one is where this chapter convicted me to the core. I would only help those people I loved and quite honestly, that’s a pretty guarded few.
But God’s Word tells us in Matthew 5:46-48
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
We are to love, not as our flesh would but as Jesus would with His perfect Agape love. So Sunday morning in my quiet time with Jesus I repented, I asked Him to change my heart and let me see and love this person like He does. I also asked Him to show me how to help her, asked Him to guide my steps and words and He most definitely did. I had been stumped because I didn’t know how I could help her, I felt and still feel inadequate. But God. He put a plan in my heart and I’m stepping out in faith knowing He will be walking with me, guiding my words and steps. You see, what stumped me was that I didn’t know how I could change her. Of course, I can’t, only Jesus can but what I can do is love her and guide her to Jesus. The rest is between this woman and Jesus. I can speak God’s truth to her through His Word but only Jesus can transform her.
This revelation on Sunday morning took me to a place I have never been before, being part of the worship team, I sang like I have never done before, spoke of God’s Word with boldness like never before and this reluctant leader, this woman who would rather be a servant than a leader, is now ready to step out in faith as I collect the hurting, love them and point them to Jesus.
Do you struggle with following God’s call on your life? If Jesus said “Come with me” how would you respond?
Suzanne Eller’s book “Come with Me” releases on May 3rd but you can preorder it here: On Amazon . Do it today, do it now, it will change you in ways that only God can and have no fear, He will be with you every step of the way.