Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “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 something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me … Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:34-36; 40 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God values the little things you do and He plans to reward you for them.”
As I noted a couple of days ago, when it comes to fully understanding all aspects of the doctrine of salvation one month of devotional messages simply is not enough, especially since we’re nearing the end and we are considering the consummation of it all – this is the best part! Therefore we don’t want to rush through it. So we will spend part of the new month carefully considering what the Bible teaches us about this third and final stage of salvation – the consummation.
In today’s passage we find Jesus and believers on Judgment Day. We will consider the Judgment in greater detail tomorrow but for today please notice that Jesus is rewarding believers in eternity for actions they took in this lifetime. Note that the examples Jesus uses and the actions He commends are all small things – giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, housing to the homeless, a visit to a prisoner.
He pointedly did not mention big accomplishments like being a television evangelist, or leading stadium crusades, or donating large sums of money to Christian causes. All of those things are important, and they do need to happen, but most ordinary Christians like you and I will never lead a stadium crusade, or donate a million dollars to a Bible college. Most of us live ordinary lives that are filled with ordinary activities.
But small things matter too. In fact, small acts of kindness, compassion, and mercy constitute the bulk of Christian ministry in the world. The kingdom of God on earth grows as a result of millions of Christians performing countless small acts of blessing everyday all over the world. These things matter, they matter very much. They matter to the people on the receiving end and they matter to Jesus. So much so that Jesus says He considers those small acts of kindness to have been done directly to Him personally. He will not forget them, and in heaven you will be rewarded for every one of those acts.
How you live your life today matters. The big things matter, but so do the small things. So live in a way now that Jesus can reward you later.