Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah. He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010. Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.
Matthew 10:42 “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple. I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward”.
When the 2012 Paralympic Games came to a close in London, many thought that the event had done more to change attitudes towards disability than any educational programme or equal rights campaigns. One writer wrote: “No longer were these unusual athletes defined by their disability but by their extraordinary ability”.
Do you know who started the Paralympic Games? His name was Ludwig Guttman, a Jewish doctor who fled to Britain from Nazi Germany in 1939. He later became director of the first specialist spinal injury unit in Britain. Little known today, the last Paralympics were nevertheless a tribute to an unsung hero.
Jesus tells us it will be like that with us too. Sometimes we feel we can do very little as a Christian to help others because of our personal or physical circumstances. Indeed sometimes we feel we can do nothing. But Jesus tells us that even something as simple as a cup of cold water to another believer to encourage them and help them on their way will not go unnoticed or unrewarded. Nobody remembers Ludwig Guttman today as the athletes are cheered from the stands. So it is from your point of view; there is nobody cheering you because you are able to do so little.
Just wait till Heaven. There you will be amazed at the numbers who will point to you as their encourager for the small and seemingly insignificant things you did or said to them to cheer them on. Never despise the cup of cold water when you have nothing else to offer.
Remember the occasion in Mark 12:41-44 when Jesus watched people putting money into the temple treasury? A poor woman came by and “put in two very small copper coins worth only a fraction of a cent”. Jesus called his disciples and said: “I tell you the truth, that poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty put in everything – all she had to live on.”
The smallest deed done for Him will be noted.
Prayer: “O Lord, Sometimes I feel so useless and unable to do anything worthwhile for you. Thank you for reminding me of the cup of cold water. Help me to do what I can for you today and trust you to use it for your glory. Amen”