I love Psalm 23. I grew up in a Christian school, and we were taught this psalm until we memorized it. Today, it still amazes me: the famous King David describing himself as a sheep, a sheep that has a gentle and courageous shepherd who cares for it.
Despite the sheep’s vulnerability, it is not afraid because its security is not in its own skills but in being near its shepherd, who keeps it safe.
This is a beautiful image of us receiving God’s tender love and care. He has forgiven us and filled us with love. As His children, He expects us to do the same with those in need.
Jesus compared helping the poor with serving Him. The gospel of Matthew records Jesus’ description of the trial of nations, in which Jesus sits on His glorious throne to reward His people with their inheritance.
Their reward is the kingdom, prepared for them since the creation of the world — not for the degree of knowledge they acquired, not for their Sunday church attendance, but for having responded to the needs of the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, and imprisoned.
I don’t mean that acquiring knowledge is bad, nor is attending church, but these things should only lead us to be more sensitive to the needs of others.
It is those who have offered drink to the thirsty, food to the hungry, a home to the stranger, clothing to the naked, or a visit to the sick or imprisoned who will be put on His right side and earn the title of “sheep.”
“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.” —Matthew 25:32–33, NIV
Prayer: Lord, thank you very much for the love and generosity you have shown us. We ask for humility and sensitivity to show love and generosity to others every day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maria Reyes works as a Program Communications Manager for Compassion Bolivia.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.