Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sheep or Goat?

Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 28:1-43, Matthew 25:31-26:13, Psalm 31:9-18, & Proverbs 8:12-13

Matthew 25:31-33
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

What is it that makes us a sheep & what is there that defines goats? This is an important question to find the answer the answer to.  Knowing the answer of this & then deciding to apply it to your life is one thing that will decide your eternal fate. Remember, there is going to be a separation of sheep from goats. The sheep will inherit the King’s kingdom & the goats will go to eternal punishment.

I don’t know about you, but His kingdom is my desire. That is the place that I want to be because that is where He is going to be. I find it interesting that that the goats thought they were going to make it into the kingdom. In fact, when they were confronted by the King, listen to their reply:

Matthew 25:44

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

They called Him Lord. They must have known Him. They may have thought that they were in right relationship with Him. But His reply shows that they were not of His flock.

Matthew 25:45-46

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

What is the difference maker? What is it that makes a sheep a sheep & a goat a goat? I think that Jesus shows us the answer in His reply to the sheep.

Matthew 25:34-36

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

What do any of these things have to do with being a sheep? Why are these things so important? Why do they define who is righteous & who is not? The answer is very simple—LOVE!

Love is what defines us as disciples of Christ. Jesus said that people will know we are His disciples by our love. Love for people is love for God.

1 John 4:20

20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Love is not just something that we SAY we do. Love is something that we SHOW we do. The primary way that we show love is the same way that God primarily shows His love—BY GIVING.

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Giving is the ultimate expression of love. It is how God showed how great His love is & it is how we MUST show how great our love is. YOU CAN GIVE WITHOUT LOVING BUT YOU CANNOT LOVE WITHOUT GIVING.

It wasn’t just that these people gave that made them righteous. Giving is worth nothing without love.

1 Corinthians 13:3

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

It wasn’t their gift that got the attention if the King, it was their love. It was loved that moved them to give. It was love for people that was birthed from their love for God. This is the greatest commandment of all. It is the only thing we need to focus on living out in our lives.

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

It can all be summed up in this—HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE? Let’s make it our aim to demonstrate our love for God by loving each other. This may be difficult at times but will be worth it in the end. The kingdom is the reward for those who love strong & without end!

Pastor Richard Schlotter

1 comment:

Dawn Black said...

This was a really great blog, Pastor! I wrote down many notes so I can go back and remind myself of these important things.
It all makes so much sense:
*Love for people is love for God.
*Giving is worth nothing without love.
*I Cor 13:3
*Always remember the first 2 commandments are the most important!!!!