By Robert Hayes
Today's Scripture: Matthew 25:31-26:13
Central Thought: Jesus expects us to minister to the disenfranchised.
According to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College London, the United States currently has the largest documented prison population in the world. Roughly 2.03 million people, 701 per 100,000 in population, are behind bars in the United States. China has the second-largest number of prisoners with 1.51 million, 117 per 100,000. Russia is third with 606 per 100,000, for a total of 865,000. Rounding out the top ten, with rates from 554 to 437 per 100,000 population, are Belarus, Bermuda (UK), Kazakstan, the Virgin Islands (US), the Cayman Islands (UK), Turkmenistan, Belize, and Suriname.
Jesus gave His disciples an example of the evidence of their love for Him. If they truly loved Him, they would respond with compassion to those who could not help themselves. Those on His list included the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the prisoner. Jesus knew that the disenfranchised would always be with us, and our response to them would reveal our true spiritual condition.
The way we treat those who can do nothing for us in return is the true test of Christianity. Look around you today and ask how you are doing in this area of your life. Jesus is clear. This is the final exam that each of must pass to receive the blessings of the King.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to look beyond my need to the needs of the hopeless.
Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 28:1-43; Matthew25:31-26:13; Psalm 31:9-18; Proverbs 8:12-13