Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s wellbeing.
1 Corinthians 10:24

In case you missed ‘em, here’s part 1part 2 and part 3.

By the spring of 2021, I’d been studying the Tao[1] for about ten years and had already dedicated the second half of my life to focusing my attention on others and becoming a giving machine. Then, one morning, through my Bose speaker, Darth Vader spoke these words… “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”[2]

A part of my morning routine includes sitting in my Relax Sauna for seventeen and a half minutes. Previously, I’d been listening to the news, but I was growing tired of opening the sauna to reach my phone and fast-forward through the commercials. So, I was searching for a podcast, that was both inspiring and commercial free, when I stumbled upon some Bible stories on the www.pray.com app. What happened next was completely UNEXPECTED. I wasn’t looking for Christianity, it found me. And it found me in a surprising form, that of Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) reading the Bible to me on that Pray app. It was awesome. I’d never read the Bible before. Not ever. By the time Darth Vader finished reading me the entire Bible, I was hooked.

Next, I found a church and started attending every Sunday. This is the only time—in my entire life—that I’ve gone to church to learn about the Bible and how it can teach me how to love God more. I feel very lucky to have discovered Grace Point Church and Pastor Chris Dortch. He is masterful, motivating, magnificent.

Christianity was unexpectedly and powerfully beginning to influence my life more and more with each passing day. I added daily devotionals from the Jesus Calling app. These are short but mighty bursts of God’s word written as if Jesus Himself is talking directly to me. It’s the very first thing I read every morning. And then I bought the Jesus Calling book so I could study it and the Bible together each morning.

I also started listening to Christian music. And watching Christian shows and movies. And listening to Christian podcasts, too. All of it—from Pray.com to Darth Vader to Jesus Calling to Grace Point Church and Christian podcasts and music and movies—all these Christian things were making me feel good inside, inspiring me to become more. And having more, to give even more.

Then I received this little nudge from God that I was to be kind and giving to strangers:

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some have unwittingly entertained angels.

Hebrews 13:2

Wow. I had never thought about that.

And, you know what? I’d never really thought about eternity, either. Not really. Of course, the more I study the Bible, learn from Pastor Chris, listen to Christian podcasts and music, and watch Christian movies, the more I think about eternity.

Then came not another nudge, but a sledgehammer from God, as I was listening to a podcast about the sheep and the goats from Matthew 25:31-45.

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “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. 35 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, 36 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.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “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.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Oh, my! Loving and giving to those in need is just like loving and giving to Jesus Christ, Himself.

Of course, if we (you or me) actually saw Jesus Christ in person and He was hungry, we would give Him something to eat, and if He was thirsty, we would gave Him something to drink, and if He was a stranger, we would invite Him in, and if He needed clothes, we would clothe Him, and if He was sick, we would look after Him, and if He was in prison, we would go to visit Him.

Of course, if it was Jesus Christ, we would move heaven and earth to give to Him. But He’s telling us very clearly, whatever we give to others in need, we also give to Him. And whatever we do not give to others in need, we do not give to Him.

So, giving to others doesn’t just lead to purpose and joy… and becoming really, truly deeply happy as I wrote about in part 3. No, it’s much, much more important than that. It’s the difference between being blessed or cursed. It’s the difference between taking our inheritance in the kingdom prepared for us since the creation of the world or being cast into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his fellow fallen angels. It’s really, super important! It’s eternally important. Could anything possibly matter more?

Giving to others and lifting them up and helping them to live better lives is God’s way for us to be put on His right, with the sheep.

And that’s where I intend to be.

I’ll not be seeking my own (fame and fortune, earthly energy, finite), not anymore. No, from here on out, I’m going to be seeking the wellbeing of other’s (in humility and service, spiritual energy, infinite).

And so, with one powerful sledgehammer of words written by a tax collector nearly two thousand years ago (that I finally got around to reading), God’s word completed and permanently locked-in my great big change of heart.

I’m wishing for you to join me on His right, with the sheep… if you need a little more encouragement, listen to the podcast that led me to the sheep and the goats [3] or reach out to me directly in the comments section  below.

With love,

[1] Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

[2] Cowboys and Christians Pt. 1

[3] Crazy Love Podcast | 98. A Church That Loves A Hurting World. Francis Chan brings us to Matthew 25 and reminds us how important it is to love the “least of these” in light of Jesus and eternity.