How to Recognize Jesus Christ When He Comes To Your Door

Like many of the things I write about in my column, my article today derived from a brief conversation I had with a man while patronizing his place of business. While there, I received a call on my cell phone from one of the members, who oversees our food pick-up ministry. Due to a lack of having able and available men to assist her, in going to the food bank in Florence to get the food that we distribute once a month to needy people in our area, we were going to have to suspend this program for a while. The root of the problem was the two men, we had who were working this pick-up ministry, had to get back in time to go to their second shift jobs. The time that they had assigned us for the pick-up did not give these two volunteers enough time to get back, take the boxes off the truck, store them, and still have sufficient time to get ready for work. To make a long story short, the people at the food bank did not want to lose our service of being an agent and outlet, who faithfully distributed their food to the needy for sixteen consecutive years without problem or complaint from any of the people who received the food. So, they made space for us and our volunteers to pick-up the food much earlier.
Not long ago, I read an amazing account of a man who had a dream of the Lord Himself promising him that He was going to pay him a visit. The man was so moved by the dream that he literally watched and waited with great expectation for the visit from his Master. Much time passed and the man became a little discouraged about the promised visitation that had been given to him. Naturally, he dealt with doubt and the probability that the dream was not to be interpreted that the Lord was going to literally pay him a visit. Perhaps it was just a dream with no spiritual significance, he thought. Everybody has had those types of dreams that must be classified as just a dream that derived from the subconscious, memories of previous experiences, or a response to something that was eaten before going to bed. However, the Lord spoke to the man in another dream with these words, “I kept My promise to visit you, but when I did you did not recognize me.” Completely startled by the Master’s words, the man responded, “Lord, when did You visit me?” The Lord said, “I visited you twice. Do you remember the old and destitute woman who came to your door asking for food and help?” The man said, “Yes, Lord, I will never forget that experience and the look of desperation in her eyes that moved me to show compassion and help her.” To those words, the Lord said, “What about the young boy who came to your door soliciting a donation for poor and infirmed orphans in Africa and India. Do you remember him?” The man again responded, “Lord, I surely do remember him. How can I forget one who was so young and would sacrifice his time going door to door, in order to solicit donations to help poor and sick orphans in Africa and India?” The Lord said to the man with a smile of affection, “That was my second visitation to you. I fulfilled My promise to visit you twice.”
The story that I just shared with you gave an illustration of how Jesus Christ visits people even today. He can visit anyone whether they are saved or unsaved for whatever purpose He deems as necessary to implement and reveal the will of the Father. I believe that He is primarily visiting believers in an indirect fashion through the crisis and destitute circumstances of others as was highlighted in the Scriptures (Matthew 25:34-45). I must confess, I have been guilty of not always recognizing some of the visits from my Lord, when He showed up through some legitimate and urgent needs of people who came to me for help. Perhaps a few of the times I missed it was due to not wanting to be used by people, who specialized in taking advantage of others, who they know are compassionate and generous, like many followers of Christ are.
Whatever the case, I have learned to help destitute people and give to worthwhile and legitimate causes that are in existence for the survival and well-being of others. For certain, there will be times when the pretenders and crooks will disguise themselves as being poor and needy for dishonest gain.
There were times when it was very difficult to distinguish from the crooks and those who were genuine and truly destitute. When these times occurred, I learned to be compassionate and generous and do it as unto the Lord. I believe that even if I was ignorantly dealing with deceivers, the Lord would honor me because I did it with pure motives. For certain, I do not want to miss recognizing the Lord when He comes knocking on my door through a person who is in dire need of help. I had rather err on the side of being used and taken advantage of by deceivers, than to take a chance of missing an opportunity to help sustain or comfort someone that the Master has divinely directed my way to test my compassion and generosity.

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