Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sheep and Goats

Matthew 25:31-46

New International Version (NIV)

The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say 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. 35 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, 36 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.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “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.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I have read and prayed over this scripture multiple times this week.  I keep getting pulled back to it.  Again and Again and Again.  Am I a sheep?  A goat?  How do I want the Father to look at me on judgment day?  Is He going to say congratulations on winning Champion's Club in 2011?  Congrats on being elected to the Chamber board of directors?  NO!  All of my many accomplishments that I am so proud of this year mean nothing in eternity.  What I should be most proud of is the opportunity to just love and hug on people in China.  And the meansy God gave me to donate thousands of dollars of chicken after the tornado.  Those were lasting....  This year, my New Years resolution.  To live this scripture.  To slow down long enough to see Jesus in "the least of these."  To invite someone into my home, clothe someone, offer the shoes off my feet and the coat off my back.  Give a Father to the fatherless and hope to the hopeless.  How will the Lord use me?  I won't know until I surrender.  I surrender Lord.  I know that getting closer to God's heart is going to be uncomfortable and inconvient.  It will be messy and dirty. Not once in the scripture have a found anything that promises a comfortable life.  Jesus promises his followers a lot of things, but I have to find where he warns us to be safe and comfortable.
I am far more afraid of living a comfortable life and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or loss of time and money.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I always feel a little let down when Christmas is over.  We get hyped up for Christmas for over a month and then its over!  I admit that we left our decorations up longer than is "socially exceptable."  My darling and wonderful husband took all the decor down and put it in the attic while I was at work one day this week.  What a nice surprise to come home to!
As I look at Gracie's 4 Christmas presents that she still hasn't unwrapped I started to ponder all that is Christmas.  Sweet Gracie is so loved that she had plenty of presents from Gigi and Poppi, Ashley and Jason, Nana and Papa. Mimi and Granddaddy, Amy and Maw Maw and Paw PAw.  There simply wasn't time to open presents from me and Blake.  (No worries, we are going to send her with little gifts while we are away and these are perfect)
I didn't study Spanish is school but I believe the term "mas" means more.  "Christ" "mas"  time.  "More time with Christ."  I believe that it is possible that the "mas" part of Christmas should be focused on Christ, and not on the abundance of Christmas.  I am speaking purely of adults, because I believe Gracie deserves mounds of gifts and Santa visits.  But I also believe that she needs to play with her little people nativity scene and understand the gift of "Jesus." Gracie's favorite song right now is:
"Jesus is a gift from God
gift from God
gift from God.
Jesus is a gift from God
born on CHristmas day."
I read her the Charlie Brown Christmas book and one of my favorite parts is when Charlie Brown sees that Snoopy has decorated his dog house in lots of lights and he throws back his head and yells, "Even my dog has gone commercial!"  Everytime I read that page G asks me, "Why is he crying?"  I respond every time with, "He believes there is more to Christmas than lights and big trees."
I have totally gone commercial.  Have you seen all the lights at Chick-fil-A?  It puts Snoopy to shame!  And I am not going to stop decorating, and buying gifts and making reindeer food with G.  But I am going to be intentional about spending an equal amount of time in the word and in prayer as I spend shopping, decorating and making reindeer food.  We will read scripture as much as we read "Twas the Night before Christmas."  Next year....  I may need reminding