In the parable of the sheep and goats, Jesus declared when he comes back all the nations will be gathered before him and he will separate them as a shepherd separates sheep and goats, putting the sheep to his right and the goats to his left. Then he will declare 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.” The ones on the right (the righteous) ask when they did any of those things and Jesus answered, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
The point being that meeting people’s needs are indicative of those whose lives have been changed by the grace of God and unknowingly serve Him in many ways by the things they do here on earth. Jesus was indicating that nothing done for the Kingdom will go unnoticed. This past week I received a wonderful text from a pastor about the effect our Sleep in Heavenly Peace ministry made in the lives to two young boys. I received a call that the boys’ family had been evicted from their place of residence and this pastor’s church was helping relocate them. He informed me that that the two brothers, Christian and Jordan, 9th and 8th graders, didn’t have a bed to sleep on. The day the family moved in, me and Beth had the pleasure of assembling two beds for those boys in their new residence. Only one of the brothers was there at the time and was thrilled as he had a new bed, complete with sheets, a quilt, and a pillow to sleep on. With the pastor of the church leading the family in prayer, we left with the joy of knowing we had had the privilege of meeting a need.
Here is the text we received Friday: “Christian and Jordan got saved last night at the beach retreat called Winter Refresh. One of our youth ministers led both to Christ! Two weeks ago they didn’t have a bed to sleep on and now they have an eternal bed in an eternal heavenly mansion. Thank you for investing in this family. This is what it is all about – let’s keep winning them to Christ one at a time.”
This side of heaven we may never know the far reaching effect of one act of kindness, whether in providing a meal or clothing or a visit or a bed to sleep on, but God certainly does. We can invest in a lot of things, but Kingdom investment always brings the greatest returns. As we enter a new year, let’s make a concerted effort to meet needs and point people to Jesus.