Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Repeatedly in the Bible, we see God instructing his people to care for the needy. But how are they to do this?
Notice it’s not by tossing a few dollars their way and going back to our busy lives. We are to visit them.
The word visit here is more than simply dropping by – it implies a real concern for someone’s total wellbeing. It comes down to using our money and our time to ensure that physical, spiritual, and emotional needs are met.
I know what you’re thinking. Probably the same thing that I’m thinking.
My schedule is already maxed out. I’m trying to be a good dad and husband, I’m trying to have regular devotionals, I’m trying to exercise, I’m trying to serve in my church, I’m trying to bring home the bacon… Do I really have to give of my time?
It’s tempting to just turn your head and pretend you don’t see this verse, and it’s tempting to justify in your mind that maybe 21st century visiting looks different from 1st century visiting.
My opinion is that God gives us time as a resource just like he gives us money. Just because time is incredibly precious to us doesn’t mean that it changes our responsibility to be a steward.
I think the scripture speaks for itself. God desires that we give sacrificially of our time and energy, not just our money, in order to care for the needy.
And just to remind you how seriously God takes this:
41 Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. 44 Then they also will answer, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? 45 Then he will answer them, saying, Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
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