34 – The Least of These

Jesus said, “When you do it unto the least of these, you do it unto me.”

The world is full of people who only help people whom they think can help them in return. This is not godly thinking. In a worldview of Biblical morals, helping everyone is helping Jesus because Jesus died to help everyone.

With good Bible hermeneutics we know the Greek way of expression, just as we have sayings in English and any other language. Jesus did not mean, “only unto the least of these,” but the idea is, “even unto the least of these.” We know this for two easy reasons up front, in addition to familiarity with how people talk in the New Testament: First, it’s hard to prove in court that Jesus meant only, second, he didn’t define “least”. “Least of these” has a Greek grammar conundrum. In English we would say, “the lowest of people,” which is still undefined.

Jesus means that no matter who we help or don’t help, he sees all and no self-sacrificial deed goes unnoticed.

Some of the “least of these” includes very wealthy people whom the masses are rude toward. Never show favoritism to anyone, neither for being poor and underprivileged nor for being rich and overprivileged. Jesus died for all people and he wants you to help all people he died for.

In that process, love knows when to be “tough” and let people do their own work. There is dignity in doing things ourselves, not taking handouts, and working to right problems we made for others.

One of my high school teachers had printed on the wall, “Lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” That teacher’s wisdom helped a lot of students, all of them in fact.

Befriending the friendless includes giving harsh advice.

Doing what is right cannot possibly conflict, by definition. Whatever is good for others is always good for you and vice versa; if you think otherwise then you misunderstand justice.

Help all people, sometimes by not helping or not encouraging or not “positively” drawing attention to embarrassment. Don’t just dump money either. Actually help—across the board—all people.

Matthew 25:31-46

38 – Trying to Be by Trying to Grow

Size and strength come from decisions and practices. These things don’t merely fall down from the sky. Even Samson had supernatural strength because he obeyed certain Nazarite promises to God and lost his strength when he did not.

Don’t be the fool who thinks he will be strong by acting strong. Don’t be the other fool who thinks he will be strong by lifting heavy weights for hours at the gym. By not also using small weights to strengthen the inner balancing muscles around his joints, he will develop muscle conditions that make it impossible for him to use his big muscles at all.

External results flow from growth inside, not merely mimicking results shown on the surface.

Many wealthy and powerful people have subtle habits and practices which are the main causes behind their wealth and power. They know what these habits are, some of them include making unpopular decisions, prioritizing the bigger picture, asking before judging, abandoning pet projects and distractions, obnoxiously high and “impossible” standards, and pushing past the comfort zone to finalize every task.

Unfortunately, people who lack skill, wealth, and influence, yet also covet and disdain people with skill, wealth, and influence, will belittle the virtues and habits that build up skill, wealth, and influence.

“That’s just a different opinion,” they say, or, “I don’t agree,” as if it is a “mere” matter of opinion without an effective difference. It is obvious that someone disagrees with the methods of people who have different results. But, saying so is considered “rude” by the masses while people striving to better themselves appreciate the benefit of truth candidly told.

Biblically called “sowing and reaping”, this principle applies to everyone: artists, managers, athletes, innovators, engineers, pilots, Bible students, even family members—any discipline.

Everything takes more time than we instinctively feel it should. Healthy growth requires us to continue past the point of discomfort, where it feels like “too much”, then keep going. “Poking it with a stick” at a comfortable distance won’t get real results; though many people, marked by mediocrity, think it will.

While God determines the style and nature of our paths, inner decisions account for our growth and progress.

Judges 13-16, Isaiah 44:14, 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, Galatians 6:7-8

45 – Prayer of the Righteous

When a righteous man prays, Heaven listens. The balanced, just, standard-measure lifestyle that makes a person “righteous”, by that basic definition, is important to God, to the angels, and all of Heaven’s court. When a prayer rises to Heaven’s Throne from someone who does not live a double-standard life, that prayer will be taken seriously.

Prayer itself is a request for justice.

Praying for healing is prayer for justice. It’s not fair that someone should be sick all the time. Broken limbs or disabilities of any kind are a kind of injustice. Praying that God would heal people of such things is praying for God to, essentially, give that person justice by having a normally functioning physical body.

Praying for laws to be good is a prayer for justice in government. Praying for good weather—the rain, cold, sun, wind, and calm, all in proper time and season—is a prayer that nature give us justice to have a fair and normal life.

Even prayer that we might become better people in our hearts or to be stronger in our understanding of morals, God, virtue, the spiritual plane, respect for others, emotional temperance, joy, creativity, and to be all around good people—these are requests to have justice come into and through our hearts.

It is immature to even consider that “righteous” living will make us superior to other, “lesser” people, thereby giving us “VIP” status with God. All prayers go to God. Everyone adopted by God because they believe Jesus is God’s child. But, our actions demonstrate maturity, which reflects credibility.

Living a “righteous” life of fair treatment of others takes thought, practice, self-improvement, and increases with time. People who live a “righteous” life have these kinds of good and careful thoughts that go into choosing what they pray for. So, people with a “righteous” lifestyle will naturally prayer for things God is more likely to give.

But, prayer has a controversial side. Elijah was a righteous man who prayed for a drought upon Israel for allowing child sacrifices. That controversial prayer was also for justice because, ultimately, that drought saved innocent people.

Prayer and justice are equally complex, simple, and very much related.

1 Kings 17-18, Psalm 34:11-22 James 5:16-18

47 – Have Power in Every Moment

Wherever you go, whatever you do, look for whatever power Heaven has for you in each moment.

Practicing any skill, art, or craft is infinitely more beneficial when you understand that Heaven wants to empower you. Focus on practice, especially when no one is looking and you won’t be recorded. Heaven sees you, offering you strength.

When you teach, tutor, coach, counsel, inform, help or advise, you just might be instructing the next prince, but you are surely helping a soul treasured by the entire Kingdom of Heaven.

When trouble comes and you appear powerless, that is when your greatest power can come through. Look for a concealed uniqueness in those moments of sudden disappointment, whatever makes disappointments unique is a clue to where to plug your power and turn on the lights. God schemes and orchestrates such times so all hope seems lost, then, through our weakness, He introduces a new power that no strategist could have invented or prepared for.

Maybe you only need to pray, keep your mouth shut, stay happy inside, simply smile at someone, or do a really good job of doing nothing at all.

Simply “being with” those around you carries a healing power that the world desperately needs. Too often we jump so soon that Winstonian advice works, “Don’t just do something, stand there.” If you need to do nothing, do nothing with Heaven’s excellence.

Among friends in the quiet as in celebration, on the battle field before, during, and after, with time prioritized for the “less easy” to love in your family or fold—every moment begs you to seek Heaven’s power to inject love and quality into the Earth.

Living with inner, personal power for each moment requires each moment. Don’t let a single second go by that you don’t tap into whatever God has for you, whether energy or rest. Love Him always. Carve out time to do nothing but be with God.

When you have power in the small, seemingly unimportant moments, you may be preparing others for big moments—or God might be preparing you for some big moment. But, the “bigness” of the moment doesn’t matter when you have power every moment.

Isaiah 40:29, Mark 12:30, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Ephesians 6:10, Philippians 4:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

51 – Carry Your Own Cross

When Jesus taught us to take up our crosses, he meant that if we want to follow his teaching, we must carry whatever daily burden is unique to us.

There are three things about his teaching to remember:

1. Context is everything. Read the entire paragraph in both Gospels; in Greek, both start with verse 21.

2. Following “behind” someone symbolizes following a Jewish rabbi as a teacher. When Jesus says, “For any who would follow me,” he refers to someone being his student. When Jesus tells Peter to “get behind” him, he is telling Peter to know his place and not argue with the teacher. (‘Satan’ was a reference to both the fallen angel’s agenda and a sarcastic reference to Peter considering himself an expert to advise Jesus; it did not mean that Satan had possessed Peter’s body and taken over his mouth. ‘Stumbling block’ did not mean that the Almighty God could trip and fall, but that Peter was small, young, and shouldn’t act like a rug rat around the fully-grown teacher who knew what he was doing; and, for that matter, Satan shouldn’t either.)

3. Jesus talks about suffering; that’s what a cross implies.

Luke’s version includes “take up his cross daily“, which has some beautiful vagueness encompassing many ideas, including take it up daily and the cross of the day.

Each day has its own problems just as each person has his own challenges.

Some of our problems come from messes we have made. When we make a mess, Jesus forgives us, but we must love others and not leave the mess for others to deal with. At the same time, forgiveness is difficult; if you need to forgive someone then try as hard as you can since forgiveness, like love, is a choice; if other people need to forgive you, remember that it is hard to forgive and try to make it as easy for them as you can.

Our own messes aside, Jesus has tasks for us.

Sometimes we must be patient and exercise perseverance, longsuffering, and forbearance; other times we must work beyond exhaustion—any of these burdens could be ours for any reason.

Following Jesus means carrying each day’s personal cross.

Matthew 16:21-28; 6:34, Luke 9:21-27, Romans 14:4, 7

53 – Brother’s Keeper, Earth’s Steward


When you see trash on the ground, pick it up. You don’t always need to, but if there’s something in the road and it’s not normal—and if it’s safe to do so—get it out of the road. If you can’t, call the local police and let them know so the right people can handle it.

This is your world. God is watching your stewardship of it. If you want to be responsible for more things then act like it!

Wanting responsibility isn’t bad; God made us to have responsibility. Our human desire for power starts out young, but if we put that desire to good use then we will mature into kind, caring, compassionate leaders to whom God gives authority and influence so that we can help many more people.

After Cain murdered his brother Abel, God questioned Cain as to his brother’s whereabouts. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain answered sarcastically—and likely from shame of his brother being dead at his own hands. The answer to Cain’s rhetorical question is, “Yes, we are our brothers’ keepers.”

If you take responsibility to help wherever you can, then God will see that you took that responsibility and He will let you keep it.

We should help each other, and accordingly help keep Earth clean. We did not create Earth and we cannot destroy it. But, we can make ourselves sick.

Interestingly, many of the things we do to pollute Earth—not all, of course—only make humans sick. Look at Chernobyl and arsenic for example. Oil spills destroy local areas, but the ocean has microorganisms that eat oil to sustain their lives.

Caring for Earth is not about loving Earth, but simply being good stewards—helping other people in need of air that won’t make them sick. Love each other, worship God, and, as an outflow of those two, keep Earth tidy and clean. This is the Biblical perspective of a godly ethic called Stewardship.

There are many movements within humanity to address the environment and charity. The Bible already has a teaching on this and it is both unique and supreme: God gave us Earth and we all belong to Him.

Genesis 1:26-31; 4:1-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:15

67 – Fathered and Fatherless Act Like It

Children who do not grow up with healthy, balanced oversight of good instruction in the home will show it in the things that they don’t know and no propaganda will convince the facts otherwise.

Children missing a parent can quickly develop an “I don’t need that parent” life motto. It’s not a logical or scientific conclusion, but an emotional coping mechanism to invalidate the self-invalidation they invent every day. Not having a parent doesn’t make someone invalid in itself; it shows up in one’s lifestyle.

An eight year old who doesn’t know how to tie his shoes probably has too much pampering at home and school. A ten year old who ties his shoes incorrectly likely has parents who just don’t care.

A high schooler who doesn’t respond to text messages is announcing to all his friends, “Hey, my parents yell at me all the time, so I ignore what everyone says just to cope with it.” The junior higher who can’t agree to go to the movies next weekend—time and again—is likewise broadcasting, “My parents interrupt my life constantly, thereby erasing my concept that ‘tomorrow exists’.” When their friends call them out on it, they act indignant and accuse everyone of making up complaints from their “dream worlds”. They make their own parents look bad in the eyes of the student body and everyone sees it but them, especially their teachers.

School carries into the workplace.

I have a saying, “Beware of people with hyphenated last names; they haven’t resolved their loyalties.” In Chinese it holds for four-character names, rather than than the usual three-. No judging, they may be great people, but strange formats make work for others and begs questions about one’s upbringing.

Everyone has family problems. If you’ve outgrown yours, but have a strange name format from the fallout, take counsel and review a legal name change. The process may be therapeutic. Alternatively, artists often take additional middle names or file a legal DBA/pseudonym.

Whatever “baggage” you may carry, ditch it. Everyone else sees it but you, don’t act otherwise. What happens at home shows in the world, especially when you’re offended by other people’s reaction to your conduct.