For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat:
I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in:
Naked, and ye clothed me not:
Sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me (Matt. 25:42-45).

Continue reading YE DID IT NOT TO ME

The Kindness of Strangers

poor old man

When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous, or selfless for you? Tell us what happened!


This is a true story.  Only the names have been changed to protect identities of those involved.  The year was 1967.

Carl was walking down the highway one hot summer day.  Walking was his only means of getting where he needed to go these days.  He had been sick a while now and without any income, but he was willing to work for meals when he felt well enough.  Laboring jobs had run out in Cisco, Texas, so he was on his way to Eastland and possibly Ranger if necessary.

Continue reading The Kindness of Strangers


“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing”
(1 Corinthians 13:3).

The key Greek word in this passage is psoomizoo (NT:5595), which is translated to feed the poor.  It signifies to divide into morsels, and put into the mouth.  This in turn implies carefulness and tenderness in the way in which it is administered.  The picture of a bird feeding its young may come to mind or the picture of a mother feeding her child.  This may also be applicable to distributing property in small portions. During New Testament times, charity (alms to the poor) was usually distributed at a rich man’s gate (Luke 16:20) or in some public place.

To make the case as strong as possible, Paul says that if ALL that a man had were dealt out in this way, in small portions, so as to benefit as many as possible, and yet were not done because of true love for God and man, it would all be false, hollow, hypocritical, and really of no value to his salvation.  It would profit nothing. Though good might be done to others, yet where the “motive” was wrong, it could not meet with God”™s approval or gain his favor.  Wealthy individuals like Bill and Melinda Gates or Warren Buffett often desire praise for being benevolent, and so we read grandiose accounts of their giving billions to “charity.”  It was against such a desire for praise and renown that Jesus directed some of his most severe reproofs (Matt 6:1-4).

A second phrase, “Though I give my body to be burned”¦” (evidently as a martyr, or a witness to the truth) seems to be saying, “Though I should be willing to lay down my life in the most painful manner”¦,” and have not charity (love), it would profit me nothing.  Ancient prophets were often called to suffer martyrdom. These all died in faith (Heb 11:34; Heb 11:13).  Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego were thrown into a fiery furnace, because they were worshippers of the true God; but by God”™s miracle they were not consumed in the flame (Dan 3:19-26; Daniel 3:28).

We know from historical accounts that Christians were persecuted and tortured for their faith (Acts 15:26), and burning became the common way in which Christians suffered. This was true under Nero and during the Inquisition.  It was also true in the persecutions in England in the time of Mary.  However, many modern day “martyrs” have not been a glory to God.  During the Vietnam War, protesters oftentimes immolated themselves in order to force the US to get out of that conflict.  Today the suicide bombers are willing to die to force the world to submit to their false religion.  Is this mode of death endured because the individual loved the Lord and wanted to glorify Him in his death?  Certainly not.  Men may desire to be martyrs for various causes.  Not a few have been willing to give themselves to the flames who never knew anything of love for the true God of heaven. 

If I have no true love for God, I will perish, after all. Love is more valuable and precious than all the offerings and sacrifices by themselves. Nothing can take its place; nothing can be connected to salvation without it.  The bottom line is motive.  If we have no love for God or His people, all our sacrifices and good works are in vain.

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).


“I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not
I searched out” (Job 29:16).

What was wrong with the religion of most Jews under the Old Testament Law?  They observed their own traditions and forgot to consider the more important things like judgment, mercy, and faith.  They surely ought to have followed such things as tithing, washing of pots and vessels and the offering of sacrifices, but not left the other undone (Matt 23:23).

When the scribes and Pharisees saw Jesus’ disciples eating without washing their hands, they were indignant.  After all, the law said that a man was unclean after coming from the market and he should wash himself before eating (Mark 7:1-13).  So what is so bad about being a strict adherent of the law?  Shouldn’t we obey all that we have been told to do? They claimed to do many good works such as giving large amounts to the temple, but they would not support their own parents in their old age.  Even today members of the church should support family and extended family members (1 Tim 5:4- 16).  Keep in mind that verse 8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

But Job went beyond just what was expected of him.  He sought out the cause of the fatherless and was father to the poor.  When we see helpless children today who are neglected by selfish, ungodly parents, do we seek out their cause?  Do we offer to be “˜father”™ (or mother) to those needy children or to the poor?  Do we see to it that they have nourishment and sufficient clothing, or do we just talk about how pitiful they are?  Sometimes we are deterred from doing good to these children because we know the parents are actually taking advantage of us.  But can the child be held responsible?  Even if we cannot take them into our homes, we can at least find time to be with them and teach them the things about God that they need to learn.  Feeding their souls as well as their bodies and searching out their needs should be our priority.  Remember: it isn”™t just children who need a father.  Many poor need someone to love and care for them and to protect them like a father would.

By inspiration, King David tells why Solomon was to be great.  It was because he would judge the poor in righteousness (stand up for them).  Read slowly and carefully Psalms 72:4-17.  “He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor” (Psa 72:4).  Then after all the blessings are given in verses 5-11, the reason for his greatness is given again in verses 12-14.  Finally verse 17 says it again, “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.”

“He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor” (Pro 28:8).


“I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame” (Job 29:15).

Do we seek opportunities to do good to those in need?  Are we too busy to take time for the ones who depend upon us most?  Good works and kindness toward the handicapped will not be noticed as something great, nor will we be become famous because we do them.  Nevertheless, He who sees all will see our hearts and our love toward his poor.

Job said he was eyes to the blind, an exceedingly beautiful expression, whose meaning is obvious. He became their counselor and guide.  He also says he was feet to the lame.  He assisted them, and became their benefactor””doing for them, in providing support, as much as they would have done for themselves if they had been in sound health.  What a beautiful heart Job showed to the needy.

Under the Old Testament Law, men were cursed if they caused the less fortunate to have more trouble than usual (Deut 27:18-19; Lev 19:14).  King Solomon wrote, “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Pro 31:9).  The Holy Spirit through the writer of Hebrews says, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed” (Heb 12:12-13).

Jesus is the supreme example of compassion and mercy for the deaf, blind, lame and the poor who came to him for healing (Mat 15:30-31; Mat 21:14; Luke 7:22).  One such account is found in John 9:1-7.  The tradition of the people then (as in Job”™s time) was that someone had to have committed a sin for that man to have been born blind.  Jesus said it was not so and that neither that man nor his parents sinned to cause such a handicap.  It was that the works of God might be made manifest in him.

Even today the lame, deaf mute and blind people are despised, and only those who love the Creator of all souls will have mercy on them.  Jesus tells us we are to invite these people to our homes when we have a “feast,” knowing they cannot invite us again (Luke 14:13-14).  We, as His servants, ought to show our love and compassion by being eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt 5:7).

“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:13).