Summary: A sermon on charity and missions designed to allow time to introduce a missionary to give a short presentation.
An umpire named Babe Pinelli once called Babe Ruth out on strikes. When the crowd booed with sharp disapproval at the call, the legendary Ruth turned to the umpire with disdain and said, "There’s 40,000 people here who know that the last pitch was ball, tomato head." Suspecting that the umpire would erupt with anger, the coaches and players braced themselves for Ruth’s ejection. However, the cool headed Pinelli replied, "Maybe so, Babe, but mine is the only opinion that counts."
One of the things we’re going to be looking at today is judgment, specifically God’s judgment. If you think that a baseball umpire has authority, well just wait. But our main concern today is not the finality of God’s judgment, we’re going to be looking at what God is looking for during this judgement. We’re going to be looking at what God is concerned with because that will give us insight into the heart of God. Today we are continuing our series “Discovering the Heart of God.” We’re looking at ways that the love of God will flow through us to the people around us. Our theme verse is 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” God isn’t looking for perfection He’s looking for commitment. But if we are really committed to Him, then the love of God is going to flow into us, it’s going to transform us, and then it is going to flow out to other people.
We started this series by looking at faith. If you really have a relationship with God then you’re going to have faith in God. Not just simply in the existence of God, but in the fact that He can and will do what He said He would do. That there are going to be times that God calls you to take risks and do things where you have to be dependent on Him to succeed, that when you do those things you will see that God is faithful and your walk and relationship with Him will grow deeper.
Last week we said that if your heart is really after God’s heart then your heart will be marked by forgiveness. In the Bible God doesn’t just tell us to forgive. He tells us to forgive as He has already forgiven us. Boy thinking about that brings it to a whole different level because God didn’t just forgive us, He paid the price for our forgiveness. That is a level of love the is impossible to match, but one that we are called to. The great thing is that when we forgive and let go of past hurts the person who receives the biggest blessing is us.
Now today we are looking at the heart a person has for ministry, the willingness to serve others. Our key passage is Matthew 25:31-46, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 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. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 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. For I was a stranger and you invited me in, 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.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ the King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 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. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 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.’ 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?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”