THE DIVIDING LINE
“Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?” — Mat_25:44.
WE CAN no longer serve our Lord as they did in the days of His flesh, when they ministered to Him of their substance. But He has left behind His representatives, and whatever we do for them He takes as to Himself. Therefore we are debtors to all men; to every unit of the human family we must pay back a proportion of our infinite debt to the Son of Man from. Mat_1:14).
The dividing line hereafter will not be a Credal one—not “How much do you believe?” Nor even a Devotional one—”How much did you pray?” But a Practical one—”What did you do?” The Apostle James shows that our faith is evidenced by our works (Jas_2:14-20). It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord!” We must show the same spirit as our Master in love for our fellows, or we shall be rejected at the last.
The Lord’s brethren are spread widely through the world. Whenever we meet the hungry and thirsty, the stranger and the homeless, the sick or imprisoned soul, we encounter one whom He calls “Brother” or “‘Sister,” and to help any such is to send a thrill of joy through the soul of our Redeemer. We must have the quick eyes of love to penetrate the many disguises that our Lord assumes. It is said that when St. Francis was riding across a plain, he saw a leper standing by the roadside, asking for alms. Dismounting, he not only gave to him, but kissed him on the cheek. As he was riding away, he looked back, and saw Christ Himself standing where the beggar had been, and he knew that he had been permitted to kiss his Lord.
Notice that the saints do not generally realize that they have done anything directly for Christ: “Lord, when saw we Thee?” The beauty of goodness is its modesty and unobtrusiveness, as the charm of childhood is its unconsciousness. Notice, also, that in Christ’s eyes, it is a crime not to do. Moses says that it is wrong to do wrong; Jesus that it is wrong not to do right. Some were cast away, as men reject weeds, not because they had violated the Ten Commandments, but because they failed to fulfil the Law of Love.
Let us consecrate ourselves to the service of men, women, and children for the sake of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Help us, dear Lord, to minister to the needs of others, to care for the poor and needy, the destitute and outcast, to show our love to Thee by our sympathy and help to the least of Thy brethren. AMEN.