Tuesday, April 2

Know-Love-Please

Scripture: Deuteronomy 31-32, Psalm 40, Matthew 25

Matthew 25:34–36 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. 35 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, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Observation

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells three stories about the Kingdom of God. In each, He speaks to those seeking entrance.

In the parable of the ten virgins, the bridegroom locks out the 5 virgins who were unprepared for his coming and says, “I never knew you.” 

In the parable of the talents, the master says to those who invested their talents wisely, “Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master.” And to the one who didn’t use his talent, “You wicked and slothful servant. You ought to have invested my money with the bankers….”

In the parable of the sheep and goats, the king says to the sheep, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you….” And to the goats, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” The difference between the two groups was their treatment of “the least of these”—whether they fed the hungry, clothed the naked, etc. 

Each parable had people who were accepted or rejected whom the master praised or rebuked. Each parable seems to be for the purpose of encouraging us to be on the right side of that divide! Be someone who is ready, who used what God gave you, who cared for the poor.

A reminder: these things aren’t done to be saved, but because we are saved. They are the fruit of our relationship with Jesus, not the root. 

John Newton, author of the song “Amazing Grace” wrote: “It is in vain to call him “Lord, Lord,” unless we keep his commandments. They who know him will love him, and they who love him will desire to please him.” (John Newton, “Messiah’s Easy Yoke”)

Note that last line: “They who know him will love him, and thy who love him will desire to please him.” Know—love—please.

Application

There is a wonderful summary of the Christian life: know Jesus, love Jesus, please Jesus. When you know Him, you’ll love Him. When you love Him, you’ll please Him. Let’s do that today!

Prayer: Lord, I love You. Help me to express that love today by doing what You want me to do: be ready, use what You’ve given me, serve the poor and marginalized, share the gospel, do what You say. Know-Love-Please.