Serving the incognito Christ

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Joel Gregory Image

Joel Gregory leads a workshop at the Annual Meeting of Texas Baptists.

What would happen if 1 million Texas Baptists did one act of kindness a day? That would result in 7 million acts of kindness in a week, 60 million acts in two months and 365 millions acts of kindness in a year.

If this were to happen, other Texans would likely take notice and great things would occur, according to Joel Gregory, who presented on the topic of “Texas Hope 2010: Care,” during a workshop at the Annual Meeting of Texas Baptists.

Gregory focused on a text from Matthew 25 in his presentation on caring, encouraging attendees to serve the “incognito Jesus.” He noted that Jesus placed significant emphasis on serving those in need, mentioning it four times. “To serve Jesus is to serve Him through caring for others,” saidGregory, a professor at Truett Seminary .

The passage describes one of the final messages recorded during Jesus’ lifetime, with much emphasis being placed upon serving those that were in need. Specifically, Gregory highlighted six categories of people – those that are hungry, thirsty, in need of clothes, a stranger, sick and alone and prisoners.

“If life has any moral quality at all,“ said Gregory, “there is going to be a discrimination based on this simple list of what do we do with the incognito Jesus – on the basis of these six categories it shows whether we have a relationship with Jesus or not.”

During the session, Gregory shared a personal experience as a student at Baylor University when he reached out to a hurting family in the community. The family lived in a home without any furniture and were struggling to feed their eight children. Reflecting back, he said, “I never felt closer to Jesus then when I was sitting in that house on south 5th street, talking about Jesus and helping that family.”

Caring for others involves many small tasks that are often overlooked. Gregory suggested that these acts will be what God focuses on when reviewing our lives – “the things we do not remember doing, he [Jesus] is going to say, ‘that was me, the incognito Christ.’”

By Kalie Lowrie, Howard Payne University

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