Day 26: Sheep & Goats

WARNING: STARR IS ON A SOAPBOX AND THIS POST IS LOOOOONG πŸ™‚

Thursday, Nov 20 – Daily Interrupted Challenge
Create a “Wish List” with your family
Keep it simple. Take 5 minutes with your family today – maybe while eating dinner or riding down the road – come up with a list of ideas for how your family can serve “the least of these” before the end of the year. Big or small ways. Brainstorm a list of ideas. Let everyone contribute and speak up. You don’t have to tackle all of the ideas. You can choose as a family which ones to work on first.

Here’s a few simple ideas (links to various organizations mentioned included):

  • Gather extra blankets/coats & drop them off at the homeless shelter or pregnancy center
  • Serve a meal at the homeless shelter
  • Pack a shoebox to send overseas with >>Operation Christmas Child<<
  • Take dinner to a family or person in need
  • Invite someone that needs a friend to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner
  • Visit a nursing home and hand out Thanksgiving cards or sing Christmas carols
  • Write letters to the soldiers serving our great Country
  • Take a military family out to dinner or invite them to your house
  • Sponsor a >>Prison Fellowship Angel Tree<< child for the Christmas Season (Children of Prisoners)
  • Buy a chicken, duck, or goat for a World Vision family (you can SERIOUSLY do this for <$100 >>visit the World Vision website<<)
  • Invite someone that can’t drive out to ride around and see the Christmas lights with your family

You pick. The opportunities are endless. Do 1 thing. Do 10 things. Don’t be tempted to over complicate this and then get overwhelmed because you don’t have the time or resources. Do what you can. Get everyone involved. Do something.

Goal: Start brainstorming today and do what you can before the end of the year. Keep the list on your refrigerator so everyone remembers the goal.

____________________________

Day 26: Sheep & Goats

If you haven’t read through Matthew Chapter 25 entirely, I would highly encourage you to stop right now and do that. And if you haven’t read it in a different translation than what you normally read, do that too.

A word about translations: I’ve found that I love reading certain passages in the Message or New Living Translation. Sometimes I will read the same passage in 2-3 different translations just to get different perspectives. I use the free Bible App on my phone most often, but I also like to use BibleGateway.com to compare different versions side by side.

I appreciate how Jen points out to us that these detailed instructions and teachings from Jesus are top priority – it is His final week on earth. This tells us that we should absolutely pay attention to what He is saying, ya think?

What do you think about when you see these words:

  • hungry
  • thirsty
  • stranger
  • clothing
  • sick
  • prison

For example:

Hungry: do we see a person standing on the corner holding a sign that might not be legit, or a child coming to school that hasn’t eaten a single thing since lunch yesterday?

Thirsty: do we see a drunk addict that wasted everything on booze, or someone so parched that they are searching for living water?

Stranger: do we see weird people that we avoid talking to, or do we invite the neighbors over for dinner taking a risk that they will actually be crazy?

Clothes: do we just toss our leftovers into the Goodwill pile, or do we purposefully package clothes and put them into the hands of those around us that have a need? Btw: Start asking. The needs are very real and they are very much near you.

Sick: do we add the sick to our prayer chain, or do we surround them with support, meals, phone calls, cards, hospital & nursing home visits?

Prison: do we think that this one is for somebody else that feels “called” to the prison ministry, or do we get out of our comfort zone and try it at least once to see what happens when we fully relying on God?

STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “Not everyone feels called to do all of these things, Starr!”

I absolutely realize there are other ways God uses individuals to reach the lost and those in need.

But y’all – I can’t help but ask this one question, “Are we allowed to ignore these instructions and teachings completely and still call ourselves followers of Christ?”

How on earth can we justify that these problems are for someone with more money and more time and just turn our heads?

Full honest disclosure: all of the examples above are thoughts that I’ve had when thinking about the sick or the prisoners or the hungry. Too many times I’ve been comfortable thinking those that are “called” to take care of these problems, will. Isn’t that what non-profit organizations are for? I’ll just handle what I’m called to do: lead worship/choir & children’s church.

What a load of crap.

How can I ignore the real needs? I simply can’t anymore.

I’m preaching to myself today more than ever and please don’t feel for one minute that I’m pointing fingers at anyone else. I’ve never thought about how these instructions from Jesus weren’t just for the disciples – the instructions were for me.

I think I’ve said enough for today.

What do you think about the instructions and teachings of Jesus in Matthew 25?
What do these words of “the least of these” mean to you?
How do you make a place for addressing them in your life?
Please tell me I’m not the only selfish one that is struggling with this.

~Starr

_____________________

Interrupted Study << Click to view/download our study schedule

>>View all previous posts for this study.

12 thoughts on “Day 26: Sheep & Goats

  1. My favorite part about you-honesty and you are real. I have those thoughts too. All the time. If we are all honest, we all have. But it is time to wake up, some of those people are in real need. We can not let some of the “fake” people disturb what God is calling us to do, who God is calling us to take care. I have put caring for others on the back burner, mainly because I do this for a living and I am a mom and I don’t want to do it anymore than I have too (just being real) but I have to stop!!

    This journey is going to wake us all up in our souls. Help us serve others in new ways. Love again. Not let us get burned out. God needs you to be bold with us! Thank you! Love you friend!

    Like

    1. Thanks, Melissa. You know that you can always count on me to keep it real, girl! I hadn’t even thought about you working in the Dr office – you’re probably like: God – I think I got that sick part COVERED!!! LOL! And I’m right there with ya – being a mom with little people is exhausting. Yes, waking us up in our souls – new ways, no burn out. I’m ready to be BOLD! Love you!!

      Like

  2. Starr you are not alone on this journey.
    I feel the same way. As I read Matthew 25
    I thought to myself lord help me to see it your way. I do find myself drawn to ones that feel like their different and don’t fit in.
    My heart wants to make them feel loved and fit in. As I read there is so much more that I can do. Lord help me to be a sheep!
    Thank you for sharing the list. It helped me see some things I can do today even with a busy day. It’s not complicated we make it that way.

    Like

    1. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone, Joanie. God will put people in our path that He intends for us to help. I’m praying for more of that and for my eyes to see and my ears to hear. I’m glad that the list helped!

      Like

  3. Wow! Today’s reading really opened up my eyes. And maybe even stepped on some of my toes, 😊 but that’s ok because sometimes we all have to be made uncomfortable to see the heart of God.

    Like

    1. Yes, Tara. I’m very much uncomfortable. Here I have been using the excuse that I’m already doing enough and God is calling me out – but, He’s opening my eyes to see that it isn’t as hard as I make it – there are simple ways that I can start to change the pattern of our family to be extraordinary in how we live and serve others. Thanks for hanging in there on this one, friend! We’re in this journey together!

      Like

  4. I hate to admit I may find myself at the homeless shelter at least once a month. My heart is to serve not ignore. Some days I see a lot of the least of these in my line of work. Some are physically broken and some are emotionally broken. I share JESUS with them. Some very boldly. Some it is just a smile and kind heart. I want to make a difference.

    Like

    1. You would be more than welcomed at the shelter. I’m challenged by today’s reading that it’s more than a hot meal, it’s about being a friend. I want to get more involved in letting the people at the shelter know that we care about them, about their story. Thank you for the work you do each day and it is amazing to see how God is working in the midst of your office, your patients, your doctors and your staff. God has a mighty plan and He has you there for such a time as this! You ARE making a difference!!

      Like

  5. Addendum on Starr’s “btw” on the clothes section – don’t just ask. Pray – ask Him to show you who can use these that is in your circle. Sometimes those that could use them will not speak up – even if you point blank ask.

    For me, “the least of these” is personal. It’s where we’ve been. All of it. And some helped me. So I definitely want to continue that – and I try (most of the time). But I could definitely do better…

    Father, show me where You would have me to go and what You would have me to do.

    Like

    1. Thanks for adding that on! Yes, if we pray – God is faithful to reveal to us the needs around us and how we can help. We can all do better – you’re not alone!

      Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s