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WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2020

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are Matthew 25:31-40 where Jesus teaches us this about what will happen at His return:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 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 foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”


CONCERNED CITIZENS OR CONCERNED DISCIPLES?

The past several months have been about preparation. We’ve had to prepare to fight a virus. We’ve had to prepare to get back to living our lives. We’ve had to prepare for an election. And now we have to get on with our lives. It seems like life is all about preparation. We might comfort ourselves with the notion that someday we’ll get to “retire” from life and do whatever we wish. But, even then, the question is, “Have you prepared properly?” And, more importantly, are you even now living the life that God wishes you to live until He calls you home to himself? During these past several months, we have heard a lot from various politicians about what it means to be a “concerned citizen.” But, above all that, the real key is whether we have been listening to our Savior Jesus who calls us to be His concerned disciples, both toward Him and for others. The first “concern” lasts for a moment; the second lasts forever.

Being in Washington, D.C. hasn’t jaded me yet. But it has given me a perspective on things. There is more money and power in Washington, D.C. than virtually anywhere else in the world. Yet it is one of the most dysfunctional places in our country! Don’t get me wrong. There are very good people doing very good work on the Hill. But the main thing I’ve learned is that all of the money, power, and technology of our world will never be able to solve the big problems of life. Those problems can only be solved by Christ’s cross and resurrection as His ambassadors bring that Good News to others. My work in D.C. is primarily to make sure that we fight back against the government’s encroachment of “life-draining” policies and controls over our lives so that we can be “free to lively freely in Christ for others.”

So, while being a concerned citizen is important, don’t ever let it tempt you away from the reality that it is much more important to be a concerned disciple of Christ for others. I was at the University of Michigan for my freshman year of college. I still remember when a fellow student in the Pre-Med program took his life over a bad grade that he received in one of his classes. In his mind, anything less than a 4.0 meant that he wouldn’t get into the premiere medical school for which he and his family felt he was destined. It was the “ultimate” issue for him. His death made me realize that even the best doctors in our land merely heal our bodies temporarily. But having and sharing our faith in Jesus provides healing of body and soul for eternity. One is important; the other, vital.

Let your daily preparations and efforts be rooted in the things that last, even as you go about your work for things that matter for mere moments. Let your life be so focused on the grace of God in Christ that your eyes are open to the people He is bringing into your life even now. Don’t worry whether the world considers them influencers or nobodies. Be attentive to those in your sphere of influence as Christ is attentive to you. Concerned citizens? Sure! But being concerned disciples of Jesus for others is what ultimately lasts.

PRAYER – Dear Lord Jesus, give us a disciple’s view of life, one that remains full of the peace which comes from trusting in Your complete salvation for us, and one that is also full of inquisitive service towards those whom You bring into our lives. Give us an “in the world, but not of the world” discipleship (see John 17:14-16) that is useful in Your hands for others. AMEN.

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