Over three days this last week, I sat in a large convention center room in Indianapolis with over 8,000 women and heard God’s Word opened and exposited by both godly women and men. What a blessing! My thoughts today will be short, but I want to tell you about the end of one of the messages I heard that will stick in my mind for months to come.
It was Friday evening, and author and Bible teacher Jen Wilkin was speaking on Deuteronomy 15. (The plenary sessions were all from the book of Deuteronomy.) This passage deals with God’s desire for the Israelites to cancel debts in the seventh year, lend to the poor, and release slaves (in this context more like indentured servants) in the seventh year. Jen Wilkin spoke on generosity as seen in this passage and focused on the contrast between being tightfisted toward your poor brother (verse 7) and opening wide your hand (verse 8). Near the end of her message, she said that she’d been recently teaching through the gospels in her women’s Bible study at her local church in Texas. She’d been struck by how Simon, a stranger in the crowd, was the one who carried Christ’s cross. She continued as tears welled up in her eyes, saying something along these lines: ““Where were his friends? His disciples? Why weren’t they there and stepping forward to help Christ with the cross? Oh, if I had been there, I would have carried that cross for my Savior. Oh to serve him when he needed it most! Or to have been there with Mary and Martha, when Jesus came to their house. To have served him a meal, washed his feet, seen to his needs. Oh how special that would have been – to serve Christ.” I knew what passage Jen Wilkin was going to follow this up with and immediately knew the Lord was challenging me. And sure enough, the verse that followed was Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.”
Do you also wish you could have in some way served Christ as he walked this earth? To have made him a meal, provided him a place to stay for the night, brought him a drink of water? Do you feel the awesomeness of the privilege that would have been? Yet our opportunity is not up. Who do you know that is in need? How can you show generosity in investing your time, talents, money, or experience to help the least of these? Let’s ask God this week to open our eyes to someone in need, and may we be faithful to lay aside selfish desires and serve. And as we do so, may we see the face of our Savior.