What Are We Doing To Jesus
In Matthew’s record of Jesus’ life, chapter 25 records Jesus describing the kingdom of heaven using parables the hearers would understand. Stories about bridesmaids and lanterns and the expectations of a land owner on his workers. Then, in verse 31, Jesus gives us a glimpse of what it looks like when he returns in his majesty. But it’s in verse 35 that we find a powerful statement about what we, the church, should be doing when it comes to helping others prior to His return. Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Those hearing this statement (just like many of us today) wondered when we did this for Jesus. His answer reveals his heart, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.“
Since July 2023, Sunridge has provided over $15,000 in financial aid through the benevolence fund. But it’s not about a dollar amount; it’s about following Jesus. As one of the pastors who gets to talk to and counsel those hurting, I assure you we don’t just throw money at their issues to help them; we want to give them hope. Someone recently came to Sunridge looking for financial help because they lost their job and could not pay their rent. Like so many others, this person was one paycheck away from becoming homeless. I asked all the typical questions to find out more about their situation. Are they seeking work? Where? What’s the barrier to finding work? In this particular case, I wanted to know more and asked about their 5-year plan. They had no answer. It saddened me that they didn’t think they could have a future. It provided the perfect opportunity to tell them about God’s love. As I counseled this young person, I thought of Proverbs 14:31, “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
Because of those who faithfully and sacrificially support Sunridge financially, we could give this person their dignity back with enough money to cover rent and grocery cards to buy food. You did it to the least of these; you gave hope. I wish you could have seen their face and heard them calling their dad in utter disbelief on the way out of my office.
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