Jesus, in Matthew 10:42, makes a startlingly significant promise about a seemingly small act of service: “And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward."
In that verse, Jesus is referring to His apostles as "these little ones." And later, in Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus broadens His statement about “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink” to "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (v. 40). Surely the principle involved extends to children and the neediest of our fellow humans.
Jesus had a very special love for children:
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me’” (Matthew 18:1-5, NIV).
He also said these remarkable words about His disciples, and once again the principle naturally extends to all children, in particular those who love Jesus:
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in Heaven" (Matthew 18:10).
In this video you will meet Luci, a sister in Christ in another part of the world where her life—and those of “the least of these” in her community—radically changed due to the accessibility of fresh water through Water Mission, an organization I truly believe in.
If our love is genuine, when we see the picture, or hear the story of a thirsty child, we don’t just feel bad for the moment or merely think, I wish that child weren’t thirsty. Love finds a way to help that child or children like her. Love means giving.
John Wesley spoke of the good our generous giving can do:
In the hands of [God’s] children, it is food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked. It gives to the traveler and the stranger where to lay his head. By it we may supply the place of a husband to the widow, and of a father to the fatherless. We may be a defence for the oppressed, a means of health to the sick, of ease to them that are in pain. It may be as eyes to the blind, as feet to the lame: yea, a lifter up from the gates of death!
The truth is, if you and your children are not malnourished or enslaved, and if you can access clean water and shelter, you are relatively rich—on that basis alone. The next time you’re tempted to think, I don’t have enough money to give, don’t compare yourself to the relatively small number of people who have more than you. Compare yourself to the seven billion others who have less—most of them far less.
Contrast your investment in “the least of these” with buying an RV, a larger TV, or a high-end vacation, or putting more money into an already ample retirement plan. It’s not that those things are inherently bad; simply consider their temporal nature and the longer lasting, and so eternally beautiful impact of money given to reach the unreached, get clean water to a remote village, feed hungry children, or educate young people so they can get good jobs and thrive.
“Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost” (Matthew 18:14).
I encourage you to send the gift of life to needy people created in God’s image, and for whom Christ died, including children and their parents who are laboring to keep them alive. You can give directly to Water Mission, or if you prefer, you can give to EPM's relief fund (choose "relief fund" under the "select fund" dropdown) and through Friday, December 9, we will direct 100% of your donation to Water Mission.