God’s great purpose for the church
FRIDAY 8/26/22 Matthew 25:31-45, Ephesians 3:10-11, 17-21
31 “Well, if the human [or Son of Man] comes in his majesty and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his majestic throne. 32 All nations will gather before him. He will separate them from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right side. But he will put the goats on his left.
34 Then the king will say to those on his right hand: ‘Come, you who want to receive good things from my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the world began. 35 I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36 I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 Then the king will answer them: ‘I assure you that if you have done it for one of my least brothers and sisters, you have done it for me.’
41 Then he will say to those on his left: ‘Depart from me, you who will receive terrible things! Go into the infinite fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked and you gave me no clothes to wear. I was sick and in prison and you didn’t see me.’
44 Then they will answer, Lord, when have we seen you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and done nothing to help you? 45 Then he will answer: ‘I assure you that you did not do it for me if you did not do it for one of these least ones.’
10 God’s purpose now is to show the rulers and powers in the heavens the many different kinds of His wisdom through the church. 11 This was in accordance with the plan which he had from the beginning of time and which he was working out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
17 I ask that Christ live in your hearts by faith. Since you have strong roots in love, 18 I ask that you have the strength to comprehend the breadth and length, height and depth of love along with all believers. 19 I ask you to know the unknowable love of Christ, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.
20 Glory to God, who by his power at work in us can do far more than we ask or imagine; 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus from generation to generation forever and ever. Amen.
God has big goals! God’s mission is to fully restore our broken world. Ephesians said a primary way in which God intends to carry out this vital mission is through God’s people working together in and through the church. Doing the work of Jesus to renew the world means that the poor, sick, prisoners and strangers are not “them” but “us”. Jesus called us to build a legacy of love for our neighbors, whom he called “these brothers and sisters of mine,” as a human family to care for and share as he does.
- As God has big goals for the church, as we noted earlier this week, Resurrection has big, challenging goals of how we want to change the world by 2030 (where else) to change the world for the better? In prayer, invite Jesus to spark your imagination and give you big dreams. Write or print out these God-given dreams and place them where you will see them often.
- In Ephesians 3:18 Paul prayed that his readers would have the power to grasp the greatness of God’s love for them along with all believers. How have you experienced God’s love in your life? In other people’s lives? In verse 21 he prayed that the church would glorify God through all generations. How has your home church been a conduit of God’s love and glory to you?
O God, keep my eyes and heart open to see your face in the faces of the hurting people around me who need your touch through me. Amen.