There is a cost to selfishness. While it may seem the wealthy man in this story went to hell because of his wealth, it is actually his lack of concern for the poor that landed him there. God is adamant throughout scripture about his concern for the poor. Proverbs 14:31 states, “Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors him.” We should never look down on those who are outside our own social status for as this proverb reminds us, God is the maker of us all.
Jesus shows his seriousness about this issue in Matthew 25:31-45. Not only will each person be judged on their treatment of the “least of these,” but ignoring those in need is direct disobedience of the command to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Our actions are an outpouring of what is in our heart. If we truly have the love of Christ inside us, then it will be evident in our care of the people in greatest need. 1 John 4:7-8 explains this in saying that he who loves his neighbor knows God, and he who does not love his brother cannot possibly know God for God is love. Look at your life and examine your heart. Are there areas where you can be meeting the needs of others? Are there specific people or groups you are passionate about? I think we can see from the verses this week that we should not wait, but when we see a need, we should fill it to the best of our ability as the Holy Spirit prompts us.
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