December 29, 2020

What Will It Take to Be Successful?

Matthew 25:31-46

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

—  Matthew 25:40

The coming of a new year is a time to look ahead and ask ourselves, “What are we hoping for in the coming year? What are our dreams and aspirations? What will we do with our lives? Will we make a difference in this world? Will we be successful?”

Some are hoping to graduate this year. Others are looking for a promotion. Still others are hoping for healing. Many are hoping to make a new start in life. And all of us are hoping for a good year ahead.

Whatever our hopes or resolutions may be for the new year, let’s take a few moments to ask ourselves, “What will we do for people who are down and out?” How do we plan to imitate our Lord in reaching out to people who are outcasts, who need help, encouragement, and a new start? Will we take the words of our Savior seriously as he tells us that anything we do for people such as these, we are doing for him?

Some people I know bring a warm meal to long-term resi­dents in a rundown motel. Others are active in prison ministry. Others pray daily for people who are alone and in need, and still others generously share their resources.

A bookmark in my Bible says, “Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others!” And that is what Jesus teaches.

Lord Jesus, fill us with compassion for people who are least in the eyes of this world. Open our eyes to the needs of the people around us. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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