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Thoughts Archived > Holy vs Righteous

13 Dec 2009



 December 13, 2009

 Matthew 25: 31-46

   Holy vs Righteous 



Jesus said:  "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.  Then the King will say to those on the 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 fed me, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink.  I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing, I was sick, and you cared for me.  I was in prison, and you visited me.'

"Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?  Or thirsty and give you something to drink/  Or a stranger and show you hospitiality?  Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?'  And the King will tell them, 'I assure you, when you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons!  For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me.  I was thirsty, and you didn't give me anything to drink.  I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me no clothing.  I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'

"Then they will reply, ' Lord when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?'  And he will answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'  And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life."   






When.....one small word, but it sure makes a person think.  Much like last weeks thought on being approachable and acceptable, today we talk about accepting and whether we will accept another and God will accept us.  It boils down it seems to not just a salvation message of accepting what God and Jesus did for us.  And not just a matter of obeying them to prove we are who we say we are.  But here we are called to act out our faith from our hearts in giving.  Different than obeying.  

In this context, God is opening a door to see if we will go through it with grace, and love, and care.  If we fail, we will be doomed to a life in hell.  

I have seen the differences in folks, different churches, different mindsets.  It has been my observance that the wealthy churches give and help the least, where the little churches that struggle every day, are the ones who give the most.  The same with the mindset of wealthy vs poor.  It seems the poor give to help one another out understanding needs, and the attitude of the wealthy is that they "did not get rich throwing money away".  I guess they hold to the swine and pearl scripture, which has no bearing on the topic.  Christ is telling us here that indeed we need to give even to the swine. 

I recall as a child going to a 'high' church where the ladies wore their hats and furs.  Back then, the wealthy led the groups in the church, but it was the ladies with the hearts that held the groups together.  It was the wealthy who made the decisions and were proud of the work of the group, but it was the poor who gave of their hearts to do the tasks assigned that led the victory in giving to others.  And it was the wealthy who, with pride, told of the group achievements, while the poor held their hearts in humility to let Jesus see their light shine.  The goats and the sheep.  Who do you think will enter heaven?  

Is prison only a place where those who have committed a crime go?  No.  What about the senior citizen with little money, or a lot, who sit at home with a deceased spouse and extended families elsewhere?  Or what about the individuals struggling to make ends meet who have no families?  Do you know someone who is ill, infirmed, disabled, and lives alone?  There are people in local hospitals and nursing homes who have no one.  People here from foreign lands knowing few, if any, and some unable to speak English.  People living in the streets.  Animals hungry in the forests, the deserts, and in the streets, in shelters awaiting death sentences unless someone says, 'Come.....home'.  Some people just need the right clothes to get the right job to give them a new life.  These are prisons, too.  Have you reached out to any of them?  Think....really put your heart into it.  Have you even said hello to a stranger, made eye contact, nodded your head, given a smile?  The goats and the sheep.  Who are you? 

It takes so little sometimes to save a life, embrace a heart, lighten a load.  But to God, it's huge.  Way more than a lot.  For you....it is life saving.  Every time you reach out, you are a life preserver.  And God calls you one of his....a sheep....holy.   And your name is written down in his book of life.  but only if your attitude is right.  If your action stems from your heart, because you really want to do the right thing.  NOT because you feel guilty.  Not because you want something from God.  But because you want to do something FOR God and for...your brothers and sisters.  

It's interesting to note that he calls everyone here his brothers and sisters.  As God has us as part of his family, is it any wonder why we have dysfunctional families here on earth?  Ouch.  And just like in dysfunctional families on earth, we have to use tough love:  let go, and cast out when necessary.  Damnation for many.  Guaranteed by God.  

I don't want to hear, 'Oh, yes, I'm good, I'll go through my closets and give away stuff I don't wear, that is stained, torn, trashed...they can have that.'  I don't want to see, nor does God, that you will give your outdated kitchen canned goods to anyone.  Or stale food.  God does not want to see you arrogantly write a check to the organization that finally breaks your guilt.  Will you only bring a hot meal to your forlorn neighbor on Christmas only?  This isn't about Christmas...this is about everyday loving, and giving, and caring, and doing...in and for God.  Will you benefit?  Yes, if done with the right motivation...from the heart for God, TO God.  Does someone need help with their rent or mortgage?  Utilities paid?  Gas money to go look for that job they so desperately need?  Could you give someone with a pet a gift certificate to the local pet store to offset their cost to feed their pet...that they love...doing for the least of these for and to God?  Are the courts always right?  There are people in prison who have done wrong and some that have not.  Does it matter?  Not to God...they still deserved to be loved.  Remember, we are commanded to love, although we don't have to like the choices some people make. 

Do you love yourself?  What have you done for yourself in the name of God lately?  Have you fed on his word?  Have you worshiped his majesty?  Have you bowed down, and, with praise, looked up with raised hands, thanked and praised him?  Have you realized, as the song says, "Gray skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face."  Have you shared who God is to you with anyone?  Is he your God?  Perhaps he is not, if you have not been noticed by him as being a sheep.  You know who you are.  And who do you want to be?  

I have to laugh.  Since last week this one song keeps coming to mind and before you take offense, hear what I say after:  "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you."  I, too, am not perfect, and I, too, am a sinner, and fall short of the glory of God.  You are not alone, so please do not ever think that when I preach, I am preaching AT you.  I am preaching from the voice of usually a painful experience to have brought me the ability to share at all.  I am with you in...IN...the midst of needing and wanting to give praise and thanksgiving.  

So folks, where are we going to go with this?  Could we all make better choices in life?  Yes.  Are we going to?  I know I am.  I've been doing a lot of this, but it never feels like enough.  My heart aches for the atrocities I see every day.  The pain that people go through.  I can do so little, but I can do.  On my refrigerator...I know I've quoted this before, but it bears repeating...perhaps even again after this....is a quote from Edward Everette Hale.  He states:  

"I am only one, but I am one, I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  What I can do, I ought to do.  And what I ought to do, by god's grace, I will do." 

I John 4:12 we are told, " If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."  We are to strive to be perfect as Christ is perfect.   Loving one another, being sheep, that is what we are called to do.  Just like baptism, loving is an 'outward expression of an inward confession' to love God with all our heart, mind, body and soul, and love our neighbor as ourself.  Start now if you have not already, but don't stop when the Christmas season ends.  Love does not always FEEL joyful, but love enacted upon IS joyfilling....for God, others, and yourself.  Not that goats aren't special in their own right, but sheep are God's 'homies'.  Be one today....tomorrow....always.  Accept the indwelling of God , Jesus and Holy Spirit that you might be one with them, choose to become a sheep, holy, and receive eternal life.  Heaven awaits.  

What's the alternative?


"Praise him, praise him, all ye little children.  God  is love....God is love.

Thank him, thank him, all ye little children.  God  is love....God is love.

Love him, love him, all ye little children.  God is love....God is love."             




Let Us Pray


Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.  All honor and glory is yours, now and forever.  God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, let today be the first day of the rest of my life.  Let me address it with renewed commitment to and with you, new strength and focused energy.  Just talking about that wears me out, but I know that WITH you all things are possible.  So come into my life in a new way.  Fill me to overflowing all that I need to go forth in your name.  I want to share all that you have to give me to share, love your way, uplift with you, and grow wings for myself and others.  Keep me on the track to everlasting life and let the well of my heart spring eternally for you, myself and others.  Let me perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, by what I do and how I love.  Keep me safe, Lord, for you know I go where angels fear to tread sometimes.  Surround me with your angels and let those angels surround those I reach out to as well, that they may have the benefit of feeling safe and cherished as I have and do.  "Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."  Luke 12:31  How nice to hear your voice, dear Lord.  Thank you.  And thank you for everything that I am going through...notice I said...'through'.  I will reach the other side of 'through' to know victory!!!!  But only because of your love for me and my obedience to you.  I am so grateful for all you have done and are doing in my life.  I know you love me even when you are silent....what is the saying....it is then that you are carrying me.  And how strong you've had to be for so long now.  Thank you.  Millions and millions of thank you.  Lord, I'm going to let you go now.  I know I have a tendency to talk to you longer than I work for you sometimes, but that is what gives me strength....another thank you...for being there.  You are the water that quenches my thirst.  The food that builds me up.  Fill me with all the things I need, to do all I need to do, for and with you.  Going forth in your name as a sheep....holy.  In Jesus' name I pray, by and with the Holy Spirit, to dear Heavenly Father God.  Amen.        






Lord of Heaven and earth.  Lord of all creation.  Lord of Heaven and Earth.  Lord of all creation.

Of water, earth and sky.  The heavens are Your tabernacle.  Glory to the Lord on high.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy.  You are holy, holy.  The universe declares Your majesty.

You are holy, holy.  Lord of Heaven and earth.  Lord of Heaven and earth.

Early in the morning, I will celebrate the light.  

When I stumble in the darkeness, I will call Your name by night.

Hallelujah to the Lord of Heaven and earth.  Hallelujah to the Lord of Heaven and earth.

Hallelujah to the Lord of Heaven and earth.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy.  You are holy, holy.  Precious Lord, reveal your heart to me.

Father, holy, holy.  The universe declares Your majesty.  Your are holy, holy, holy, holy.

Hallelujah to the Lord of Heaven and earth.  *






Let us hear from Paul as he prays:  

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resouces he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.  Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT         




Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rythms of Grace'.




Definition of a Christian:  Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Regardless of church name or religious affiliation.  








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baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age."




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My family and I, and the church, are in crisis and could desperately use your prayers and financial support.  Due to medical concerns, employment crisis, and economic devastation,  I do not have funding to meet everyday expenses right now for the church, or family, and home, nor those necessary to keep this website afloat, for those shut-in or needing spiritual support, nor the ability to help others along the way.  But I am confident that, with your help, balance can be achieved.  As God touches your heart, I hope you will pray earnestly for the church, my family and me, and send any amount of money you can to help.  Please note 'Church and Family' on your check, and, I will see that all funds get divided appropriately.  The church, I and my family, as well as to those to whom we reach out, will be sincerely grateful for anything you can do to help.  

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  One last thing....


Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving

'The Unforced Rythms of Grace'


"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:  "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.  You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people.  Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.  "The Father has given me all these things to do and say.  This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.  No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.  But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."

"Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:  25-30

  The Message


And the people said,









I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God.  Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.




Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.


 * Todays song  is from the CD 'Worship Together' and was written by Mac Powell and Cliff & Danielle Young.


Bible Authors and Minister