Our Church has statements that reflect our Mission, Vision, Strategy, Philosophy of Ministry, Doctrinal Beliefs and Corporate Values. The second “Value” that we hold and adhere to is: “Every person matters to God and to us.” That value is emphasized in this third great parable that Jesus told in Matthew 25. In this parable He is referring to the poor, the outcast, the hurting, the dregs of society – and He says, “When you minister to the least of these . . . you are ministering to Me.”
Questions – “Does everyone matter to you?” “Do you really care about others in this world – especially those less fortunate than yourself?” and “If you do care, how are you demonstrating that compassion to the hurting and needy people in your world around you?”
General William Booth founded the Salvation Army, which throughout its history has reached out to rescue the “dregs of society.” The Salvation Army has focused on reaching and ministering to the homeless; the poverty stricken; the chemically dependent – the people shut out from the mainstream of the world. Booth led this ministry for decades – even through ill health and blindness. When informed by his son Bramwell that he would soon be blind, Booth responded: “I have served God and mankind faithfully as long as I’ve had the use of my eyes. I will continue to serve God and mankind faithfully without the use of my eyes.” Oh that we all had that kind of diligence and commitment to ministry.
When Booth died in England, the masses that turned out for his funeral service were unprecedented, larger even than the funeral turnouts for royalty. The Queen of England was at that funeral service, and noticed an ill-dressed and obviously sin-scarred woman near her crying profusely. She inquired if the woman had personally known General Booth – and if that was the cause of her sorrow. The woman replied that she had never met General Booth, but that her heart was broken and she was crying profusely because, “He cared for the likes of us.”
Jesus stated that He (the King) also “cares for the likes of people like that.” He also instructed us to love as He loved, be compassionate as He was compassionate, and minister as He ministered. When we read the entire parable told by Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46) we clearly discover that the best thing we could ever do for others and for ourselves is to wholeheartedly throw ourselves into ministering to those less fortunate than ourselves – like Jesus and General William Booth did. Peoples lives will be transformed, the Lord will be pleased, and our reward will be forthcoming.
As you pray today, pray that: 1) The Lord will give you a burden and compassion for those less fortunate than yourself; 2) The Lord will give you direction in how you can minister to those less fortunate than yourself; and 3) The Lord will develop in you a real Christ-likeness, that makes you sensitive towards and caring about everyone in your world. Remember, “every person matters to God” – and should matter to us as well!