Keys to the Kingdom – Carolyn Tucker
When there’s a challenging situation in your life, you’ll find Jesus at the front end prompting His compassionate servants into action. These kind people are the “givers.” And then you’ll also find Jesus at the back end, where hopeful individuals are the “receivers.”
God likes to use His children as givers to accomplish His plans. He does miracles without human assistance, but He also works through those who love and serve Him. Jesus was talking about compassionate believers with obedient servants’ hearts in Matthew 25:37-40 NKJV: “The righteous will answer Him, saying, ’Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, ’Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
God likes for His children to pray boldly and specifically ask Him for what they need (see Hebrews 4:16). As God moves in response, these believers become receivers. The scripture reveals, “And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NASB). Well, there He is again. Jesus is everywhere we turn. But we should already know that because He says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Revelation 22:13 NKJV).
Make sure you recognize Jesus when He shows up because He wears a lot of different faces. Here’s a partial list of what He’s done for us over the last several months: Jesus has baked a blackberry pie, shoveled gravel onto our lane, brought out Schwan’s meals, baked desserts, provided home-cooked meals, and sent cards. Jesus has changed the oil in our van, filled up our gas tank, cut hair, shared garden vegetables, mowed our yard and pasture, and cut and delivered wood. Jesus has been a chauffeur, changed the lawnmower oil, prayed for us, run the Weed Eater, given money, and even mailed a box of Queen Anne’s chocolate-covered cherries to us. The face of Jesus is beautiful — and He looks just like our family and friends! As humble receivers with grateful hearts, we count our blessings and thank God.
There are times when life lands you in a pit to slug it out with a vicious lion. In the Old Testament we read about Benaiah, one of King David’s mightiest men. He was a valiant warrior who did many heroic deeds. “…on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it” (2 Samuel 23:20 NLT). Humanly speaking, the odds were against him, but Benaiah won anyway. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to believe that Benaiah looked up from the bottom of the pit and saw the offered hand of a friend to help him climb out.
Jesus is a chain breaker and a heart mender, and He’s not afraid of lions or hard work. So when you’re asking, believing, and standing for your breakthrough, rest assured Jesus will show up with His sleeves rolled up and His work gloves on.
The Key: No matter which end you’re on, Jesus is there.