Then The King Will Say …

Matthew 25:31-46

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “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. 35 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, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “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.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The Pendulum

 

I can’t count how many times I have read or heard some version of the following rationalization since Trump took office:

“We need to understand that God uses ungodly people for His purposes. The Bible has story after story about the unlikeliness of who He chose to lead a people, a nation. I support President Trump for his policies .. not his personality.”

I have yet to hear an example so that we can look at a story together and consider the person, the context, and the lessons God intended.

There are centuries of reigns by kings documented in the Bible, their lives distilled to one of these two statements:

1.) He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left, or …

2.) He did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord his God.

As for the status of those kingdoms of God? — Each went the way of their king. The pendulum swung back and forth over the centuries. The whole kingdom swung to good. The whole kingdom swung to bad.

In the book of Samuel, we learn that God never wanted kings. His will was that his chosen priests continue to lead. During the time of the priest Samuel, the people of God’s kingdom rejected God’s will and demanded a king. All the other kingdoms had kings, they wanted one, too. God ultimately relented and they chose Saul. David, meanwhile, was handpicked by God (via Samuel) to later take Saul’s place as their first God-approved king.

Not because it was God’s will. Because it was the people’s will.

Still, David was a man after God’s own heart. He was not sinless, but repentant and intensely recommitted to God after, for an overall lifetime yielded to service of God. Most kings after David, however, were not “pleasing to God”. They did what was evil in His eyes. Read Kings 1 and 2, and 1st and 2nd Samuel, and the Chronicles, and the lesson over and over is that God allowed free will and the rise to power of evil kings as well as good.

Just because a president is elected, does not equate to “he is who God chose”.

Just because a president claims to be a Christian, does not equate to being pleasing in the eyes of God.

Just because a party claims that God endorses that party, does not make it so.

Just because a president tackles single issues, such as abortion, that line up with a specific religion’s stances, does not equate to “God chose Trump (or anyone else)”.

To someone who claims, “Trump is accomplishing God’s will”, I ask:

Is he? How did you land on that conclusion? – because people told you so?

Or because God told you so?

What about the other stances important to God, like caring for the most vulnerable people in society? More is written in the Bible about that, yet those directives are alright to ignore? Policies against those people are alright?

When political stances and figures are weighted with “God endorses him”, we’d better be hearing it from God himself, not people. To do otherwise is to prioritize people over God.

To oblige a person or group instead of God … does not end well.

Take a look again at God’s kingdoms of old.

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Job 28:28 And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”

Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

 

Spacious Place

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Psalm 18

13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
    with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
    and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
    at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
    I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
    and have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.

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Puppets and Pawns

 

 

During last Week’s State of the Union address, the attendees moved to their poles just as they were trained. Much of America did the same in their homes.

We have become a nation of puppets.

The memes tell us we should go all in to the extremes. Newscasters tell us we should do the same. Leaders effectively rally us to groupthink.

Peers pressure and scold us if we don’t join in.

But we can’t just blame the influencers …

Each person who ended up in blind loyalty allowed it to happen. We let ourselves be played. We let it happen. We walked right into the traps.

We don’t think for ourselves. We don’t investigate topics until we understand them. We don’t break ranks from groupthink to search for solutions. We read a meme or hear an angry voice and let them inflame us too, without spending a minute more time to investigate the topic further.

Inside the trap of extremism, we like the feeling of righteous indignation that constantly blares from the speakers there. We like to hear the din of like-minded people affirming our views and spurring us to hatred and aggression toward those who disagree.

We like keeping the pot constantly stirred, so we can feel pride and self-righteousness over and over again.

In short, we like being awful; we like being pawns.

But it didn’t come without cost. When we chose our extremes, we abandoned reason, independent thinking, ethics, morality, empathy, and any attempt at resolution. 

When will people tire of being manipulated?

When will enough be enough? When will people stop digging in their heels in their existing stances, and move together to make change? When will we give up being “right” to look together for what is right for all?

I’m ready. Are you? 

There He Could Hear You

Cindi Gale

For The Songless Hearts

[Verse 1]
Awake, glad soul awake
The sun has risen long.
Go now to His grave
And bring a tuneful heart… and song.

[Chorus]
When He was laid in the tomb
He laid right next to you.
No one could hear your hopeless sorrow
But there He could hear you.
When you were sad and wept alone
Child, He wept for you.
When you were dead in a song-less slumber
He sang a-a-and died for you.

[Verse 2]
Awake, glad soul awake
Your shoes are all worn low.
Far enough, you cannot say!
Just past those clouds He comes for you You know?!

[Chorus]
When He was laid in the tomb
He laid right next to you.
No one could hear your hopeless sorrow
But there He could hear you.
When you were sad and wept alone
Child, He wept for you.
When you were dead…

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A Blessing On Your Barns

Deuteronomy 28: 2. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the voice of the LORD your God …

8 The LORD will decree a blessing on your barns and on everything to which you put your hand; the LORD your God will bless you in the land He is giving you.

1The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.

Proverbs 3:10 Then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.


A person who has been faithful, even to the point of enduring years of injustice while dependent on God, no doubt has accumulated vast amounts of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. What he gained can’t be summed up in an hour, a day, a week, a month, or even a year. When he shares his experiences, it will be when he is willing and inspired to.

If outsiders are patient and nurturing, they may be allowed inside the faithful’s overflowing barns of treasures from God, but it is never to be taken. It is for the one who remained true to God, and who endured from barrenness to abundance, to share as he determines.

His bountiful harvest is from God as a reward for a faithful life. He has finally reaped what he sowed. His harvest does not belong to anyone else, it is his alone.

His barns are overflowing because he farmed diligently and tirelessly, even while alone and cold, scorned and unrewarded. When God determined it was spring and then summer, and finally harvest time, He filled the barns of His servant.

It is the servant’s prerogative to determine when and with whom he shares his harvest. A wise servant will distribute it the same way he acquired it: with God’s training, direction, teaching, and approval.

agricultural agriculture asia barley

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Blessings for Obedience

28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.