Devotional Thought for Today – 12/23/2022

As Christmas fast approaches and all the hustle and bustle of the “holiday”, I am reminded of the greatest gift ever given to mankind. A child, born of humble beginnings, He came to save the people from their sins. His Holy Spirit indwells every true believer and empowers them with gift(s) for the Kingdom of God. Are you using your gift(s) today?

Matthew 25

Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC: This chapter continues and concludes our Saviour’s discourse, which began in the foregoing chapter, concerning his second coming and the end of the world. This was his farewell sermon of caution, as that, Jn. 14:15, 16, was of comfort to his disciples; and they had need of both in a world of so much temptation and trouble as this is. The application of that discourse, was, Watch therefore, and be ye also ready. Now, in the prosecution of these serious awakening cautions, in this chapter we have three parables, the scope of which is the same—to quicken us all with the utmost care and diligence to get ready for Christ’s second coming, which, in all his farewells to his church, mention was made of, as in that before he died (Jn. 14:2), in that at his ascension (Acts 1:11), and in that at the shutting up of the canon of the scriptures, Rev. 22:20. Now it concerns us to prepare for Christ’s coming; I. That we may then be ready to attend upon him; and this is shown in the parable of the ten virgins (v. 1-13). II. That we may then be ready to give u our account to him; and this is shown in the parable of the three servants (v. 14-30). III. That we may then be ready to receive from him our final sentence, and that it may be to eternal life, and this is shown in a more plain description of the process of the last judgment (v. 31-46). These are things of awful consideration, because of everlasting concern to every one of us.

Our main text today comes in a portion of scripture known as the “Final Judgement” in many commentaries and Bible headings. It begins in verse 31 with the Son of Man and all His angels coming in glory, to gather, v.32 the nations and judge them.

Those judged as righteous will be invited to the right hand of Christ those judge, not to the left. So there is no mistake as to why those on the left are “left out” Christ explains in v.35-39 that what those on the right did was use the things and gift(s) God had given them and the left failed to do culminating in our main text v.40.

9. Lastly, I shall use but one argument more to persuade to works of mercy, and that is the reward which follows alms-deeds. 
Giving of alms is a glorious work, and let me assure you it is not unfruitful work. Whatever is disbursed to the poor brethren, is given to Christ! ‘Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me’ (Matthew 25:40). The poor man’s hand is Christ’s treasury, and there is nothing lost that is put there. ‘Whatever you give by stretching forth your hand on earth is as it were given in heaven’. The text says, ‘the merciful shall obtain mercy’. In the Greek it is, ‘they shall be bemercied‘. What is it, that we need most? Is it not mercy? Pardoning and saving mercy? What is it we desire on our deathbed? Is it not mercy? You who show mercy, shall find mercy. You who pour in the oil of compassion to others, God will pour in the golden oil of salvation unto you (Matthew 7:2).

The Beatitudes
Thomas Watson, 1660
An exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
A discourse of mercifulness

This is NOT Christ calling for a Social Gospel Movement, which was all the rage in the late 1800s through 1920 and has seen a resurgence recently. Jesus is speaking about serving others in the church first and foremost. While some disagree I am convinced Galatians 6:10, 1 Timothy 5:8, and today’s reading make this clear. Then when we see a neighbor in need we help the least of them also.

Christ, depicted rightfully as the King (Matthew 25:31) answers their confusion. When a believer in Christ shows love for Him by obedience (John 14:15), that reflects their service and devotion to Him (Matthew 10:40–42). Love for other believers is a sign of true faith (1 John 3:11; John 13:31–35). In other words, Jesus sees the loving care believers give to each other as if it was being done directly for Him.

It’s important to note that the reason these people did these good works was because they were living faithfully for Jesus. Their works followed their faith (Titus 3:5) in Him as the chosen ones of His Father. Jesus calls all who are sons and daughters of His Father, His brothers and sisters. He is their King, yes, but He is also their spiritual brother since they are all children of God. Jesus is loyal to His family and receives good, done for them, as good done for Him.

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