“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20
Everyone always has an excuse. It’s true. From the earliest age children exhibit the ability to make excuses for their behavior when caught doing something they know is wrong. They either learn it from older siblings, their parents, or most likely from their own sinful nature. Giving excuses is an undeniable proof of King David’s words so many years ago, “Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) The fact that we give excuses or are immediately looking for a plausible one (they often get more “plausible” as we become more experienced in coming up with excuses) is greater proof that God knows exactly who we are, sinners without excuse! Knowing and accepting what God already knows about us, and believing he knows it, is always the beginning place of salvation and of repentance; the beginning place of healing, by the way he has prepared for healing through Jesus. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Matthew 9:12) Excuse makers do not need a doctor, because they are not sick; so they think.
Believing what the Bible says is true about all of us sharing this planet, that man is without excuse in the understanding that God is, and that God’s invisible qualities have been clearly seen and can be understood from visible nature, we have a common starting point for conversation with unbelieving neighbors in the world. Unfortunately, we do not always start the conversation because we think they are miles away from us in thought and will think us crazy. There is always a common beginning point: God is, and they know it, despite any denial to the contrary. All the more reason for you to actively pursue being ready and waiting eagerly for your Savior’s return as in the context of Matthew 25, by conversing with others about who God is and what he desires.
In the scene which Jesus describes of the great throne room and his dividing the sheep from the goats for eternity, the discerning truth will be who really feeds, welcomes, clothes, cares for, and frees up to the least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters, and those who do not. Understanding Jesus’ priorities of the spiritual being preeminent to the physical, though sometimes meeting physical needs opens doors to the eternal goal, spiritual healing. This is how the brothers and sisters of Jesus are to use their waiting for his return; feed the hungry with the bread of life, assuage the thirsty with living water, welcome the stranger to the kingdom of heaven, clothe the naked with the wedding clothes of the Lamb, spread the Balm of Gilead on the sickness of their soul, and visit the one in bondage to sin. The ones who use their waiting and preparation like this for the return of the Bridegroom are among the sheep and not the goats!
Read Matthew 25 today with this in mind. This is the way Jesus has instructed us to both wait and be prepared for his return; beginning today. Whoever you see face to face today whether spouse, child, parent or neighbor, you are to face them with the knowledge that you should feed them with living bread, give them living water to drink, welcome them into the kingdom of God, apply medicine to their sin-sickness, comfort them in any depression, sadness, or bondage to sin; and do all this knowing Jesus has said, “Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, YOU DO FOR ME!”
Whether Jesus comes tonight or in 20 years this is how you wait, not knowing at what hour he will come.
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