Christianity Made Simple

Jn.4:34 "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work." Can our meat be any less than the meat that Christ claimed? His meat was to heal the sick--raise the dead--comfort the feeble minded--to Love His enemies--to take up the cause of the widowed, and finally to reconcile all of mankind back to God our heavenly Father.

I am going to quote something that William Barclay had to say concerning true meat. In reference to Mat.25:31-46 (Sheep and Goats) Barclay says, "This is one of the most vivid parables which Jesus ever spoke, and the lesson of it is crystal clear. The lesson is this--that God will judge us in accordance to our reaction to human need. God's Judgment does not depend on the knowledge we have amassed, or the fame that we have acquired, or the fortune that we have gained, but on the help that we have given. But there are certain things that this parable teaches us about the help that we must give.

1. It must be help in simple things. The things that Jesus picks out--giving a hungry man a meal, or a thirsty man a drink, welcoming a stranger, cheering the sick, visiting the prisoner--are things which anyone can do. It is not a question of giving away thousands of pounds, or of writing our names in the annals of history; it is a case of giving simple, human help to the people we meet every day. There never was a parable which so opened the way to glory to the simplest people.

2. It must be help that is quite uncalculating. Those that helped did not think they were helping Christ, and thus piling up eternal merit; they helped because they could not stop themselves from helping. It was the natural, instinctive, quite uncalculating reaction of the loving heart. Whereas, on the other hand, the whole attitude of those who failed to help was; If we had known it was you we would gladly of helped; but we thought it was only some common man who was not worth helping. It is still true that there are those that will help if they are given praise and thanks and publicity; but to help like that is not to help, it is simply to pander to self-esteem. Such help is not generosity; it is simply disguised selfishness. The help which wins the approval of God is the help which is given for nothing but the sake of helping. God is the great Father; and the way to delight the heart of God is to help His children, who are our fellow men.

There were two men who found this parable blessedly true. The one was Francis of Assisi; he was rich and he was wealthy and he was high born and high spirited. But he was not happy. He felt that life was incomplete. Then one day he was out riding and he met a leper, loathesome and repulsive in the ugliness of his disease. Something moved Francis to dismount and fling his arms around this wretched sufferer; and, lo, in his arms the face of the leper changed to the face of the Christ.

The other was Martin of Tours. He was a Roman soldier and a Christian. One cold winter day, as he was entering a city, a beggar stopped him and asked him for alms. Martin had no money; but the beggar was blue and shivering with cold, and Martin gave what he had. He took off his soldier's coat, worn and frayed as it was; he cut it in two and gave half of it to the beggar man. That night he had a dream. In it he saw the heavenly places and all the angels and Jesus in the midst of them; and Jesus was wearing half a Roman soldiers cloak. One of the angels said to him, "Master, why are you wearing that battered old cloak? Who gave it to you? And Jesus answered softly, "My servant Martin gave it to Me."

When we learn the generosity which without calculation helps men in the simplest things, then we too will know the joy of helping Jesus Christ Himself!" (from Kris) 





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