Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. —Matthew 25:40
Jesus separated the sheep from the goats, the saved from the unsaved, on the merits of their charitable works. While not negating the necessity of salvation, Christ demonstrated the importance of charitable, humanitarian work. How, as God’s people, can so many discount the power of charity? What is the power of faith or the holiness of modesty if there is no love that brings sacrifice for the destitute and downtrodden?
As we minister to the needs of others, we minister to Christ Himself—the cup of cold water, the visit to the sick, the song to the shut-in, the kind word to the elderly, the blanket to the cold, the bread to the hungry, the bandage to the bleeding. What a wonderful privilege and blessing it is to give to someone in need. Some of the greatest joys in my life have come from sacrificial giving. I have also known what it is to be without and have a saint of God meet the need. How wonderful God designed the plan of salvation.
I love the truths and doctrines of the Word of God. My desire is to hold high the banner of Christ and the practical holiness of life which it brings. I promote in this issue of the Gospel Truth the very relevant teaching of charitable deeds. As children of God, our lives should be motivated by love and full of practical deeds of charity for others. This is not something of convenience or something to pick up and leave off at will. It is a divine command and is at the very heart of Christianity.
Some say that humanitarian work, deeds of charity, is not the work of God. While the greatest ministry is sharing the gospel with the world, part of God’s work is ministering to the temporal needs of people in need. Much is said about it in the scripture and my prayer is that our eyes be opened in a greater way to the call of God in this area. It is a call for ALL of us.
We sometimes wonder what motivates people when they come to hear the gospel and also receive humanitarian assistance. Why are they here? At the end of the day, I take solace in the fact that Jesus Himself told the people, “Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” Jesus still fed the multitude because of compassion. So it is for us today. In ministering to others, we are sharing the love of Jesus Himself.
May we have the Samaritan’s vision to see the needs in our world and not be afraid to give and sacrifice.
Michael W. Smith