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Matthew 25

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The Salvation Army of Tyler is serious about Doing the Most Good through using the resources entrusted to us responsibly, and for God's glory. Our motivation behind all that we do comes from Jesus Christ and in His Word, He lays it out in Matthew 25-just why we do what we do.     

 Matthew 25, starting at verse 31

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,

Through the funds and gifts in kind supplied to the Salvation Army each year for food...literally hundreds of thousands of hot meals are served and delivered, tens of thousands of grocery bags are given to families in need. Those that have fallen on hard times and need to choose whether to pay the light bill or feed the family can find relief through generous donations given to the Army that ensure that they will not go hungry if our kitchens have anything to say about it.

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,

The mobile canteen at the Army goes out to any disaster in our area and to those in most need of help. A fantastic team of 30+ volunteers serve water, and food to those displaced by disaster and to the service men and women that are putting things back in order. What a vital way to help those in emergency situations.

I was a stranger and you invited me in,

The Salvation Army in Tyler, TX certainly invites strangers in! Over 46,000 men, women and children were provided a place to stay just last year at The Salvation Army Tyler facility. The only shelter of its kind in East Texas, The Salvation Army Center of Hope, through generous support, was able to keep families off the street and into a comfortable shelter, consistent school attendance and tutoring, mentoring programs, employment training and more. Not just a simple handout to a stranger, the Center of Hope invites strangers in daily and gets them motivated and gives them hope for a brighter future.

36I needed clothes and you clothed me,

We have a fantastic Family Store here at the Tyler Salvation Army. Its purpose is two-fold...to provide clothing, furniture, and more at a great price for those that can't afford such items; and also, it provides clients with particular need for these items free of charge, after proper case management. And it all comes from donations made by the public. Without a giving community such as ours, this just couldn't happen! But because people choose to give their clothes and furniture items to the Salvation Army-we are able to clothe and equip those that need it the most. And all the money raised through sales in the Family Stores...goes right back into the programs and services of The Salvation Army.

I was sick and you looked after me,

This is a great time to talk about the endeavor that came about this year in the Hope Medical program. A partnership has been forming between the medical community, including UT Tyler School of Nursing, Bethesda Clinic, Trinity Mother Frances, Episcopal Health Charities, and we hope partnerships will grow even more. This is to provide healthcare for those without insurance that just can't afford it. We are always looking for businesses, organizations, and groups to partner with-meeting the needs of this community.

 I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

At the Salvation Army here in Tyler, we have a little group of volunteers that go out every single Thursday and visit nursing homes. They may bring magazines, little gifts, something small, but they always bring a ready ear to listen and arms to hug those that may not get any visits that week other than theirs. Those same nursing homes as well as prison are visited and given gifts at Christmas too. The Salvation Army really does spread its fingers out across the community to those that are very often forgotten. We do this because we love Jesus, and with the help given to us by those that can give.

 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,

The least of these...that's who we serve. And you never know who may find themselves in that group. The homeless, the helpless, the lost, the forgotten....men...women....boys and girls.

 you did for me.'

And that's our motivation...the love of Christ compels us to feed the hungry, quench the thirst of the thirsty, invite the stranger in, clothe the naked, nurse the sick, visit the down and out...and much much more. We want to hear Him say, "Well Done."

But it takes a lot of people. Quite honestly, it takes a lot of resources. It takes The Salvation Army and the people that resource it being out there 365 days a year to make it happen. But we're not going to quit...my sincere hope is that you don't quit either. We need people to Join our Army and come along side us now more than ever.

 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

God bless you and God bless the gift that He lays on your heart to give. And may we all hear, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant."

 


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