“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.” 

(Matthew 25:35-40 NIV)

While there is some debate, most Christian scholars would agree that “the least of these” refers to other followers of Christ.  While we are called to minister to all and be a reflection of Christ’s love in all situations, it seems that we are commanded to give special love and attention to other believers.

You may remember the old hymn, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.”  The theme of this song seems to directly reference John 13:35: By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  So if the best way to show the outside world that we love Jesus is to love other Christians, why are we so bad at it?  Why do churches have a reputation for bickering and splitting over insignificant disagreements?  Why do we have people financially struggling in our church families when we are pouring out money to local charities?  Why are our brothers and sisters so lonely in hospitals and nursing homes when we spend so much time in front of the television?

I think it is pretty clear that we need to make some changes in the way that we show love to other Christians.  But I know that it can be difficult to figure out where to start.  Luckily, you have me to help with that.  I have a friend from college that was a good Christian example for me, even before I decided to turn my life over to God.  He was very clear about his beliefs, where he stood on all issues, and how his faith played a major role in every decision he made.

Recently, that friend of mine has fallen on some very hard times.  His name is Joe Riffe, and he has worked as a paramedic in Louisville, KY for six years.  He has felt blessed every day that he has had the opportunity to use the skills God has given him to save lives.  Almost a year ago, Joe was in a hiking accident and suffered some very devastating injuries, specifically to one of his legs.  After several surgeries and procedures, the damage was still unable to be corrected.  And just a few weeks ago, Joe actually had that leg amputated. 

Needless to say, Joe is currently unable to support his family and his career is currently in jeopardy due to his unknown future.  He wants nothing more than to get back to the work that he believes God put him on this planet to do.  He wants to get back to supporting his family.  However, as the medical bills pile up and his day to day bills keep coming in, Joe is still several months away from being back at work and having an income.  His family needs immediate financial assistance.

Any and all support would be welcomed with open arms.  And while prayers and encouraging words do go a long way, the greatest way we can help our Christian brother right now is through monetary gifts.  For more information on how to support Joe and his family, please visit his blog (The Prosthetic Medic) at the link below.  Let’s band together and show the world that we truly are disciples of Christ…by our love for one another.

The Prosthetic Medic - http://prostheticmedic.blogspot.com/.

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