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Friday, September 12, 2008

Don and Jimmy
Don and Jimmy

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"The Least Of These"

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40).

Earlier this week we shared of a longterm work friendship of Lloyd and Elvin. Today we would like to share of another special friendship. I met Don shortly after moving to Lancaster County in 2001 at one of the companies I served as a chaplain at that time. Don is an outgoing, friendly type and although we have both left the companies we worked for when we met and Don and his wife Carole moved to Colorado Springs we have stayed in contact. Don now works with the Navigators, a Christian discipling ministry.

Shortly after meeting Don I met a friend of Don's named Jimmy.  Jimmy, who is similar in age to me lives by himself in a small apartment in right off Main Street in Mount Joy and has a disability known as Tourette Syndrome, as well as diabetes and several other health related issues. He was so sad when Don and Carole moved to Colorado.

Jimmy on porch
Whenever we drive past his apartment and see Jimmy sitting on the porch as he often does we stop and greet him.  In my personal ministry and encouragement to him I have stressed that he is an overcomer and Ester will holler out "Jimmy, what are you?" and he will tell us "An overcomer." Ester then jumps out and gives him a big hug. 

The other day when we stopped he excitedly told us that Don and Carole were in town for a visit and he was flying back out to Colorado with them for a visit.  What a kind gesture on their part and example of AGAPE love in action. 

I've met people who aspire to someday do something great for God, but in the meantime just sit and wait.  The daily verse and context give us a glimpse of the specific forms of service that matter to Christ.  They're usually not really big things, but the accumulative impact of serious followers of Christ obeying His commands and this is making a tremendous impact on our world.  What are you doing today for Christ? 

How we as individuals respond to the least of these in the trenches of life is a great demonstration of our Christ-like character.  I am heartened by examples of grace demonstrated to "the least of these."  All over the world today both institutionally and individually (but mostly individually) true followers of Christ are actively showing compassion to a hurting, broken world.

I am convinced that one of the truest evidences of an authentic follower of Jesus Christ is how we treat "the least of these."  One of the last lessons Christ taught before His death was on this subject.  In Matthew 25 He uses representative examples of what we may call the "down and out", "losers", "unlovable", etc.  According to Jesus how we respond to the "least of these" is a proof of our true discipleship and criteria for entrance into God's Kingdom.  How we deal with the "least of these" determines whether we are a sheep or a goat.

Today we all may very well come in contact with people regarded as the "least of these".  How will we respond? 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Lord, help me to be sensitive to those around me who need my expression of love and care in Your Name.

Theological note: From the perspective of our desperate need and God's amazing grace we are all in the "least of these" category!

Personal note: I have both Don and Jimmy's permission to share today's story although they had no idea when I would be writing it. This morning as I was preparing the message Don called me from Colorado Springs and reported that Jimmy is having a great time and Carole sent me this photo of a rainbow they saw the other day.
Rainbow in Colorado Springs (photo by Carole Musser)

Amish mini train!
In the course of our travels throughout Lancaster County we see some very interesting sites.  Yesterday we saw this pony followed by a cart with an Amish woman on it pulling a riding lawnmower pulling a cart!

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People Need The Lord

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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