While preaching a series of lessons on the grace of giving in Michigan, a question came up from one of "God's littlest angels" in our midst.
Four-year-old Carrie, one of three daughters of a young mother in the congregation, was learning that when Christians gave their money into the collection plate on Sunday mornings, that money was taken up for Jesus. Needless to say, little Carrie was a bit puzzled as to what this meant. Astute as she was for her years, she let her mother know, hands on hips, that she wanted to see how brother Bob was going to "hand the money to Jesus." It was almost as if to say, "This I gotta see."
As I thought about how to answer my little inquirer, I thought of the following scriptures which I could explain to little Carrie on her level of understanding. These scriptures spoken by Jesus himself are the underlying basis for our giving of our means as we serve him, by serving his people and those who are not yet his people.
Let's let Jesus answer the question for Carrie in Michigan and all the little Carries who have this same curious question. "How are you going to hand the money to Jesus?"
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels are with him, he will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me."
Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothed you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:31-40 NIV. Read verses 41-46 to find out what happened to those who did not do these things.
You will receive a warm welcome when you visit the Pine Grove Church of Christ, which meets at 15416 Dellwood Drive in Baxter.
Bob Ekman is the minister of the Pine Grove Church of Christ and a Daily Dispatch columnist.
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