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SERMON SUMMARY. This is one of my favorite texts; it makes plain the ministry mandate we have to serve others. There might be no more clear New Testament articulation of the Lord’s heart for those in need. We are compelled to help those in need – to be about our father’s business. We have to love what the Lord loves. And, not only that, but we should see ourselves. At some point in time in our lives, we have been all these things (whether physically or spiritually)…naked, hungry, sick, in bondage. In providing service to those who are in need we are a blessing to them but we are also a blessing to ourselves. Serving others helps to remind us to be grateful for the grace and mercy that God provides. Not in a comparative sense but it simply helps us to be grateful. There is liberty and freedom and blessing in serving others. Let us be about our father’s business.
The Lord’s Heart. This is one of the more vivid and intense scriptures in the Bible reflecting the heart of our Lord.
Our Hearts. This text is intense because of the strength of the judgment against some of the people (“the goats”) in verses 41-46. Imagine what it would be like to live all our lives, to get to judgment, and have the Lord say “depart from me, I never knew you.”
The Prisoner. As I mentioned, this scripture has been marinating with me for several months. The inclusion of the prisoner particularly caught my spirit. We are sympathetic to all others (the hungry, the naked, the sick) but what of the prisoner?
Our Father’s Business. Christ does not distinguish between someone’s guilt and innocence and our ability, our capacity, our call to love them. Those in prison (physical, mental emotional or spiritual) stand on the edge of humanity. They also stand in a place where they need some love . . . a touch from the Master’s hand.
All of us have sinned. All of us have found ourselves struggling. We found ourselves hurting. We found ourselves naked. We found ourselves starving. We found ourselves wanting. We found ourselves in the midst of sin. We found ourselves imprisoned in our minds, in our hearts and in our souls and unable to do anything about it. He did stop because we naked, hungry or in prison. he came for those reasons. He saw that we needed a touch . . . to be fed . . .to be clothed. He saw that we needed to be visited while we were incarcerated. We have salvation because He was about his father’s business. Let us be about our father’s business and do the same for others.