Being the LEAST
“When you did it unto the least of these, you did it unto me,” Jesus said in one of those head-scratching parables
Ponder with me: loving the least of these. I suppose that would mean helping each other out, especially doing for someone else what they cannot do for themselves. It’s seeing a person’s need, hearing their cry, listening to the Holy Spirit, and doing what He says to do. Doing what He says immediately, fully, not more or less than.
My recent favorite book (one of them) is “Dream Big” by Bob Goff. He suggests to start reaching out to others by starting with the groups of people who seemed closest to Jesus’ heart – widows, orphans, prisoners, the sick, the hungry, the naked. Bob says this last category are scarce, but he assures us we’ll know when we’ve found them! Humor aside, we’ve probably all been part of a clothing, coat, or shoe drive for those in need. A few times in our humble lives we’ve even been on the receiving end of these. Sadly, the appreciation was often drowned out by equal parts of embarrassment. I’ve learned that every generous heart needs to experience and remember that war with humility and dignity in order to extend charity with grace.
There’s another great book I’m reading called “Double Blessing” by Mark Batterson. (Sidenote here: I know I say it all the time, but insights in books really DO change my life forever; I consciously choose to allow new life-changing truths in so they can push out the old. If your life doesn’t change in the months following a good book, you might want to assess if reading is worth your time!) Mark says blessings come into our lives so we can double them, pass them on in bigger ways. Blessings are a natural flow from the heart of God, a multiplying flow, never meant to only be received, but to grow and continue to flow through us.
Bouncing back now to the least of these. I have to do one more book citing. Ted Dekker’s “The Forgotten Way Meditations” introduced a thought a few days ago:
I (Beth) am the least of these.
I must see and treat myself as the least of these. I must do nice things, see needs and meet them, pray over myself, show compassion, encouragement, deep Godly grace, and non-critical, fully accepting love from the Heart of God Himself. ME: I am the least; I am Jesus himself. Have you ever seen self-love as an act of obedience? If I do not do this for myself, love myself as God loves me, I am unable to share that love with others.
When I do show love to myself, I’m loving Jesus. Then I am loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And then I can love my neighbor as myself. (Comments about selfishness here are missing the point. Just read one of the books I’ve recommended if you struggle with that.)
Yesterday, as I often do, I bought myself flowers. I’m sitting here with them, with a nice cup of coffee and a heart full to overflowing with love, patriotism, gratitude, and joy. I’m blessed beyond my imagination. I’m fully at peace. I’m so in love with my friend Jesus, so open to the voice of the Holy Spirit, so at peace with my Father God. And it was in this perfect moment of alignment, I had the thought, “I should blog now.”
So, my readers, you are now the least of these. It is overflowing onto you. Love your God by loving yourselves, and then take your overflow and….. blog... or whatever He speaks to YOUR heart to do next. Live this. Breathe it in and out. BE the least and the world will BE a lot more like heaven!
And the King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” Matthew 25:40 (NLT)