and the King will say…

Pastor Begger story

Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor of that morning. He walked around outside the church for 30 minutes as the people began arriving for the morning worship service.  While the church folk began arriving for the service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food – NO ONE in the church gave him anything, not even pocket change. As he entered the sanctuary he went to sit in the front of the church. Immediately the ushers asked him to sit in the back row. He greeted people as they walked by only to receive glaring stares and dirty looks; as though they were better than him.

As he sat in the back of the church; he listened to the church announcements, several songs from the choir and stood to participate in worship.  Then the elders went up to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him. When he got to the altar, he took the microphone from the elders and paused for a moment then he spoke these words of Jesus written in Matthew 25:34-40

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  ‘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.’ “

After he recited these words of Jesus, he looked towards the congregation and told them everything he experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples.  When will YOU decide to become disciples?”  He then dismissed service until next week.

As George Whitefield said “A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy till it is doing something for Jesus Christ.”

Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others.  Are you part of a gathering… or the Church–the Body of Jesus Christ.  ♥ Streim

~~~~~~~~~~♥~~~~~~~~~~

**A dear sister in Christ shared the original story with me. I have edited, revised and adapted it.  I don’t know the original author.**

Torn Coat and Weathered Hands

homeless manHomeless man with wind burnt face, standing on a corner, head hung in disgrace

Everyone just kept driving by as though he wasn’t there, heading to the mall like runners in a race.

The cardboard sign he held, had words scrawled out in sheer despair

“I am homeless, could you please help me?” As he stood hunched over in a ragged jacket, shoes with holes and shaggy hair

The saddest moments where watching so many passersby,  and no one showed not a care.

I told my care giver who was driving to turn at the next block and go back around;  she listened but didn’t make a sound.

We drove up to him by the side of the road, I rolled down the window and said “Sir please come here”, I watched him limp as he walked to the car

weathered hands

I took his weathered hand  as he shivered in the frozen  north wind and when I looked him in the eye,  I began to cry.

I told him I wanted him to know that God truly loved him (as I handed him a folded bill) then he smiled and said to me, “I know He does ma’am I have Jesus in my heart”

He thanked me several times, three times to be exact, but I told him he need not thank me, it was a joy to and that this  moment with him had made my day”

We spoke a while longer as he told me how hard today’s world is,  he said he’s tried to get help to get back on his feet,

Then he told me that sleeping in the frigid cold was the worst part of living on the street.

As we drove away I wondered how so many live that way, when 70 per cent of Americans are Christians, or so they say

No one should be without a home, a place of warmth and love… for our Lord Jesus has instructed us to share with the poor in every way.

Some so-called Christians would ridicule my deed and say, he’s just lazy or a drunken bum so let him live that way

And my response to them “Except for the grace of God that could be any one of us, for we know not why he’s homeless

And we need not consider why, God’s Word tells us “to give everything we have and nothing less.”

The true meaning of Christmas arose in my heart for the first time that day, as the stores all crowded with crabby folks no matter where we went

My patience was gone for reckless drivers, grumpy clerks and people hustling  trying to get a good deal

It took a homeless man, with torn coat and weathered hands, to show the joy of Christmas and the love of our “Jesus” so very real.

Streim ©

Matthew 1: 20-24  “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”  So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:  “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,”  which is translated, “God with us.”