Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20 – How to tangibly bless God

The one who welcomes you welcomes Me, and the one who welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me.  Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. And anyone who welcomes a righteous person because he’s righteous will receive a righteous person’s reward.  And whoever gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple—I assure you: He will never lose his reward.  (Matthew 10:40-42 HCSB)

This is just one of various times when Jesus taught that how we treat others is how we also treat God.  We have opportunities every day to tangibly bless God, care for Him and show our love to Him as if He were right in front of us through the way we treat others. Jesus says that as we do this, we not only do we welcome Him, but we also welcome God the Father.  

The word “welcoming” can easily be mistaken to mean bringing someone into your home.  Jesus is not just referring to hospitality, although that is one way to bless a servant of God.  It’s when we welcome the wisdom, spirit, encouragement, or even the rebuke of a man or woman of true faith that we are promised to receive the same blessings as that prophet or righteous one.  Recognizing the presence of God in another by showing kindness and respect honors Jesus, which honors the Father, and in the end, rewards us with blessings of the same caliber as they deserve.

We can argue that we should have noble motives to always do what is right regardless of whether we receive blessings, and ideally that’s true.  But throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God calls us to seek the rewards that come from obedience.  No matter how mature and spiritual we may think we are, God still sees us as children, as very simple-minded sheep who need constant guidance and rewards to do what is right.  If God sees us that way, we should accept the fact that we may not be as smart and noble as we’d like to imagine!

In the final verse, Jesus is referring to His twelve disciples, and calls them “little ones.”  They were the men who would later establish the first century church, be persecuted and tortured, sacrifice their lives for the Gospel, and turn the world upside down for Jesus.  But at that time they didn’t yet have the baptism of the Holy Spirit and were still making a lot of foolish mistakes.  Yet Jesus knew that His little ones were going to become great heroes of faith.

Let’s see each other in the best light as possible, to see the presence of God in those who are truly in faith, and to welcome them as if we are welcoming God.  Even giving a cold cup of water to a man or woman of faith (not just pastors, anyone of faith) is an opportunity for you to be blessed.  And for those of you who truly love and serve God with all your hearts, allow other people to be blessed as they bless you!  Let your light to shine so that others can see God in you, welcome you, and receive a reward from God because they responded to His light.

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