The aim of this devotional study is to remind oneself of how God rewards our everyday acts of kindness.
To prepare your heart with visual images for the Scripture reading, enjoy this beautiful demonstration of kindness in action by Thai Good Stories.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Observations and reflection
- How many people does one need to do an act of mercy / kindness before God notices? (v40)
- How do you know Jesus takes the acts of kindness to people in need very personal? (v40)
- List the types of kindness Jesus highlighted in this text. (v35-36) Which similar acts do you think Jesus would also reward that are not listed here?
- What do Jesus call people who showed kindness to people in need? (v37, 46). Why? How does that change the perception of the acts? (hint: we commonly refer to “acts of kindness” as “social justice”… why?)
- Prepare time, a gift and a kind word, and confident faith today to show kindness to someone TODAY, knowing Jesus will reward you in eternity for it as if you did it to Him! To whom and when will you do it today?
- How can you prepare yourself every week / every week to do kindness to people in need, so that you “store up for yourself treasures in heaven”? (consider signing up at soup kitchen / hospital or prison ministry; also reminders on cell phone, weekly routines, someone to do it with you…)
Prayerfully reflect on David’s Psalm below and ask God to give you the heart of compassion and kindness so you can receive these temporal and eternal blessings:
1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. 2 The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. 3 The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.