Friday, February 01, 2008

The Sheep and the Goats

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. . .41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in
prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison,and did not help you?' 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
~Matthew 25:31-33, 31-45

As I've mentioned before I'm reading The Final Quest by Rick Joyner. I must say it is messing up my mind in that it is causing a huge shift in how I think about things and look at things. I highly recommend the book.

At one point he is talking to someone who he had once wanted to be mentored by, but their personalities had clashed and they had not gotten along well. This man is now holy and pure in heaven, but tells Rick he is one of the least in heaven because of how he had focused more on himself than on God during his life. (The amazing part is that he is so thankful and happy for the place he does have in heaven!) As he explains this a bit more Rick realizes he has done some of the same things. One of the things he mentions is he had rejected those who the Lord had given him to disciple. That really made me think.

I've always thought of the story in Matthew regarding the sheep and the goats as being someone who literally does not help the poor and needy physically. I looked at it in a worldly way, I guess. But it could also be taken in a spiritual sense. Are we helping those who are hungry, thirsty and poor spiritually - those who are looking for God? Are we being so judgmental towards others and arrogant in our own spiritual standing that we miss those God sends us because we think they are not worthy or we think they are unimportant?

While I was thinking of this the Lord revealed some of my own shortcomings to me. Areas where I had started to get arrogant because of what God has been revealing to me. Areas where I've started to focus on myself instead of on God. That knocked me down a notch or two.

So now I need to ask myself everyday:

Am I the sheep or the goat? Am I feeding the hungry and thirsty, caring for the poor and needy physically? Am I feeding the hungry and thirsty, caring for the poor and needy spiritually?

Am I looking upon others arrogantly, holding it over their head that I am spiritually more mature than them or am I looking on them with love through Jesus' eyes? Is there anyone God has put in my life to help that I have not because I have been thinking they were not worthy or important? If so, then I'm forgetting that I'm not worthy or important, but God still teaches and pursues me because He loves me regardless of what or who I am. The least I could do is the same for others.

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