Even though there are hard parts of Matthew 10, there's one thing that remains constant, Jesus continues to re-enforce the idea that giving to the needy is a central component of the Way.
"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. Anyone
who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's
reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a
righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. And
if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones
because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not
lose his reward." (Matthew 10:40-42)
So many teenagers call me and ask, "Why is it so easy to follow God when we're out at camp?" And I have to be honest, it's a component of faith I wish I could unlock. It's easy to follow God when you are with like-minded people.
It's easy to worship when everyone is worshiping.
It's easy to read your Bible when you see others doing the same.
It's easy to be kind when it's the norm.
But what happens when you go back into the world?
Are camping times, retreat times, mountain top times simply a place to receive a 'shot in the arm' of God to help you get through the hard times?
I don't think so.
I think the purpose of camping or retreat times is so that we can re-focus. We can remember the purpose of our faith, and when we go back in to the world we can emulate that behavior for everyone to see. We serve a Giving God who is interested in giving even a cold cup of water to the least of these.
It's part of the WAY.
It's central to our faith.
It connects us to the heart of God.
So if you're struggling today to realize the power of God in your life, stop focusing on yourself, and go give to someone in need. It's the difference between Christianity and every other faith.
Our God gives, while other 'gods' demand.
Our God in concerned with the well being of the Kingdom, rather than focusing on the blessing of the individual.
He wants those who are adopted into His family to reach out beyond our normal sphere's of influence, and give our resources to those who need them most.
May we be a Giving People.
May we recognize the needs of others, and begin to meet those needs.
For this is a new command, "The world will know you are my disciples by your love for one another."
So today…Go Give to someone, and see God in your selflessness.