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Accountability for how we live

“Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Matt 25:40 On the week before Jesus was to be brutally killed, the disciples could feel the pace of events picking up.  They asked Jesus about how things end.  “Will there be a happy ending to this st…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

“Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
  Matt 25:40

On the week before Jesus was to be brutally killed, the disciples could feel the pace of events picking up.  They asked Jesus about how things end.  “Will there be a happy ending to this story?”  (Matt 24:3)

Jesus unfolds the climax of humanity’s story for them and for us in Matthew 24 and 25.  And his followers since then have written out detailed guesses as to how it will all play out.  Theologians have a whole area of study called eschatology to encompass their theories and guesses.

I remember, as I was growing up, the palpable sense of fear I had about the impending end of all things.  The Late Great Planet Earth sold millions of copies during the cold war and we evangelicals hunkered down in our paranoia and entirely missed the point Jesus was making.

His point is that God has an expectation of man. We don’t just get to live our lives for our own pleasure.  There will be a reckoning for how we live and he will apply a criterion in assessing the quality of our life.  He will separate us into two groups and he will look at one thing about our lives.  How did we love those in need? He feels what they feel and he wants relief. His heart breaks for the pain he sees down here. He wants ours to break as well so that we’ll act in his stead to alleviate that pain.
The question is knowing this, how will we live our lives? There are so many distractions, so many ways to miss the point. And I suppose that breaks his heart too.
God help me, God help us as we answer that question.

Comments (8)

  • God has been teaching me this in very difficult, yet tender, overwhelming, but intimate ways these past couple of years…and the more challenges (read opportunities) I am presented with to forgive, serve, put others first, apologize, and the list goes on, the more deeply I am called to press into Him. It is a glorious, scary, privileged and did I say scary call to continue to purge and prune…commitments in favor of loving and serving those close and things which I am in the process of finding homes for. I yearn to strip my life to one of simplicity and as few distractions by things which don’t deliver what they promise anyway…
    So, how about the next time you get anxious and wonder where God is, do something or give something radical or generous to someone else, even, or perhaps especially if you don’t know them. It is a moment of heaven come to earth.

  • AMEN, AMEN, AMEN! What an important question to be asking God to help us answer. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder.

  • Thanks Seth for this and the clear Biblical ethic contained therein. In recent years one of the litmus tests for me has been the degree to which I sense “peaceful discomfort” and a “holy state of discontent”. Agitation combined with a positive response to a hurting world seems to be where the Gospel is played out best. And there are “mission fields” as close as the next trip to the grocery store. I appreciate you.

  • Why is it that in the simplicity manner of your writing here, that my mind and heart are in a complex mode of thought???

    “Oh God break our hearts… then empower us to just do it”

  • If I truly seek to love the Lord with all that I am, I will also seek to do all that I do to the glory of God!

  • He absolutely wants to transplant his heart into ours, Seth.
    And there is no other way than to break ours, which is selfish and despicably wicked (according to scripture) into a million pieces.
    Once the stony heart is shattered He can replace it with a heart of flesh.
    That finally beats not for our own hurts, needs, and desires.
    But, for this great big world.
    And, when that happens, we know something amazing has taken place.
    Something we could never have done on our own, in our own flesh, with our own works, no matter how ardent and motivated!
    It takes a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, and a lot of laying down of many things over years.
    But, the result…it still blows me away when I stop to think about it.

  • I should have added: I speak from my experience. I can not say it is universal. But, then I was a very selfish, stony hearted person and God had to do a lot of hammering and shattering to break my heart and replace it with His heart of flesh, broken for His world!
    Love to all…

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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