“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in… The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Matthew 25: 34-35, 40
It’s simple – others will know we are followers of Jesus by our love and care for those in need. Jesus said that to the extent in which we care for the “least of these,” we are actually caring for Him. In other words, real, saving faith has nothing to do with how active we are in Bible study or our attendance record at church on Sunday mornings. It has everything to do with how we reach out and love those in need. And when we fail to step up when an opportunity presents itself, that’s as much a sin as any other.
Now, don’t misunderstand: faith is NOT achieved through works – but rather DEMONSTRATED thru works. Through certain actions and good deeds, we demonstrate that Christ is now living in our hearts, giving us a desire to do so. As Jesus said in John 13:35, “by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Love. It always comes back to love. So how are you doing in caring for the poor, the homeless, the sick, and imprisoned? How are you caring for the refugee or immigrant, the single mother, or the elderly? Jesus is saying, “Look, if you really love Me, then you will love and care for others” (my paraphrase). It goes hand in hand: Real faith always leads to action.