The picture that Jesus paints is a sobering one. When He returns to earth in all His glory, He will gather before Him all our race. Then He will separate us. Some will be blessed and welcomed into a beautiful kingdom prepared for them by their loving Father. Others will be cursed and sent away from God into eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
What will be the standard for this separation? Simply this: how we responded to Jesus Christ here in this life; specifically, how we treated Him when we met Him in the needy around us.
We will answer to Jesus face to face, with our hearts and lives laid bare. In that moment our acts and our omissions will be seen for what they are: our personal response to the living, ever-present Jesus Christ.
That moment is a certain future for each of us. How should we prepare? Surrounded by need, how can we live up to such a standard?
What He wants for us is very simple: live in His presence now. Make Him the center of life now, as you will see Him to be in that moment. Your love for Him will grow. And as you love Him, you will love those He loves.
If we claim to love Him but live to please ourselves, ignoring the needs of His dear ones all around us, our love will be shown to be a lie. 1 John 3:17 (NIV) says:
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
Lord Jesus, help us to see You in the faces of the needy all around us. As we love each little one, we are loving You.