[CF Devotionals] 2010-12-22 - Two Sweaters

As a followup to my most recent devotional about putting Christ on our Christmas lists, I want to say that I appreciate the responses. I would also like to share with you one of my own gifts to Him.

As have many of you around the world, we here in the Southeastern US have had some unusually cold weather of late (must be all that global warming haha!), and I was reminded, by the Lord, that there were many folks who didn't have warm outerwear, some of whom actually lived outside. So my husband Richard and I went through our closets, looking for good condition items we could give away. My emphasis on the word good is intentional, for sadly, some people give junky, unusable items to the homeless, to charities that serve the poor, etc. We shouldn't ever give anything to these folks, that we wouldn't wear or use ourselves. And even more importantly - we shouldn't give anything to them that we wouldn't give to Jesus Himself. For in essence, we are giving these things to Jesus/God.

As Christ Himself taught us in Matthew 25 (NASB):

  1. 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
  2. naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
  3. "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?
  4. 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
  5. 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
  6. "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
  7. "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.

One item that we gave was a black sweater that I had thought I still needed, but then the Lord brought to my mind the logical thought that I had two black sweaters, and why would I need two black sweaters? I realized, later, that God had provided a chance for us to literally live out Luke 3:11:

Luke 3:11 (NASB) And he would answer and say to them, "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise."

Side note: Of course, He doesn't intend for us to literally live out everything in His word. For example, we aren't to literally gouge out our eyes, as described in the hyperbole in Matthew 5 (though I know of a schizophrenic who did that after reading it - very sad). But it was fun, to be able to take the one about the two items of clothing, and literally hand the duplicate to a ministry that serves homeless people.

I hope you all have a meaningful Christmas, and that helping Jesus - by helping others - will make it even more poignant. And of course, this is just a start; just as we should worship joyfully year-round, we should give to Jesus year-round. This is just a start!

Joyeux Noel.

Jan

[email jan] Jan
http://www.cfdevotionals.org