Summary: Deals with the call to service that God places upon every believer’s life
A Call to Loving Service
I. God Calls Us to Loving Service
II. God Calls Us to Simple Service
III. God Will Judge Us Based on Our Loving Service
IV. God Will Bless Our Loving Service
One day while walking with some children, Queen Mary was caught in a sudden shower. Quickly taking shelter on the porch of a home, she knocked at the door and asked to borrow an umbrella. “I’ll send it back tomorrow,” she said. The queen had deliberately disguised her appearance by putting on a hat that partly covered her face and by wearing some very plain clothes. The homeowner, reluctant to give a stranger her best umbrella, offered her a castoff she found in the attic. One rib was broken and there were several holes in it. Apologizing, she turned it over to the monarch, whom she did not recognize.
The next day she had another visitor—in man with gold braid on his uniform and an envelope in his hand. “The queen sent me with this letter,” he said, “and also asked me to thank you personally for the loan of your umbrella.” Stunned, the woman burst into tears. “Oh, what an opportunity I missed that did not give my very best,” she cried.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells His disciples a parable with a similar twist. The point of the parable is simple and clear: God will judge us based on our caring service in the face of human need. Please turn it in your Bibles to Matthew 25:31-46 (p. 739)
This parable teaches us four basic truths concerning God’s call to service which He places upon the life of every believer.
God Call Us to Loving Service
The first truth we see in this parable is that God calls us to loving service.
We serve a God who is described as being a loving God. One of the most familiar verses in the Bible—one that many of us have committed to memory—begins, For God so loved the world… (John 3:16). And in John’s first epistle he writes, God is love (4:16). Next to holiness, love is at the very core of who God is.
But the word love, as it is used to describe God, is not merely feelings of sentiment or warm streams of emotion that overwhelm Him experientially. It’s not the love we see portrayed on TV or in the Hollywood productions—just some “primal purge.” When the word love is used in association with God, you will also find an accompanying action. Let’s consider the words of John 3:16 once again: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.
God’s love is a demonstrative love. He does not merely say, “I love you,” but along with those words is the proof. The love of God is living and active. It is tangible and easily recognized. When God’s love is poured out, there is no mistaking it.
Our God is the God of love, and he expects us, his children, to be loving as well. Just as we are reflections of our human parents, mirroring them in our appearance in mannerisms, so too, we are to be reflections of our heavenly Father, imitating Him in our actions and attitudes. As one commentator has pointed out, “the real evidence of our belief is the way we act” (LAB, Notes, p. 1707).
The God of love calls us to loving service. It is not enough for us to meet together once a week to confess to one another that we are children of God. We are expected to live as His children and act out our faith in Him. Just as He is a God of giving and sacrifice, so too, we are to give, sacrifice and serve others. We should keep in mind that “what we do for others demonstrates what we really think about Jesus’ words” (LAB, Notes, p. 1707). How well and how lovingly we spend ourselves on behalf of others is the only true evidence of our faith in Him and His words. Again to quote from 1 John, This is love for God: to obey his commands (5:3). God calls, He commands, us to loving service.
God Calls Us to Simple Service
The second truth found in this parable is that God calls us to simple service. Note the activities that Jesus mentions here: feeding the hungry; giving drink to the thirsty; showing hospitality to strangers; clothing of the naked; caring for the sick; and visiting the imprisoned. “This parable describes acts of mercy we all can do every day. These acts do not depend on wealth, ability, or intelligence; they are simple acts freely given and freely received” (LAB, Notes, p. 1707). Any one of us could easily be involved in a number of these simple acts of kindness without stressing our time, money or strength. Jesus does not tell us to fix all the world’s problems in one shot; rather He invites us to make a difference in a simple fashion: one person at a time.