This passage in Matthew haunts me more than any other. It leaves no room to hide. Either I feed the hungry or I don’t. If I send a $100 check to Famine Relief, Inc., am I covered, or do I need to give $1,000—more? Do I need to fly to Juba, South Sudan, and help distribute food? How can I be sure I will stand on the right side when the Son of Man sits on his throne?
Christians through the ages have struggled with variations of this dilemma. What does God expect me to do to get into Heaven?
Of course, that last question is a bit misleading. We generally talk about going to live with God and His Son in Heaven, but the Bible tells us we can expect to live in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth. Still, what does it take?
The answer is—I must accept with all my heart and soul that God is my Master; that I must love God and I must love every other human on the planet.
God is not a bookkeeper. There is no double entry listing of the money I made and the money I spent to feed people. There is no naughty/nice list.
Luke 10:27—Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. NIV That is what God keeps tabs on.
If I sit down in December and figure up what I need to do to lower my 2017 taxes and see that writing that $1,000 check will lower my tax bill, I’m not sure that qualifies as love.
If I write a check for $100 because I want to give $1,000, but simply don’t have it, well and good.
Read my earlier comments on this theme here.
Be righteous and do good.