Matthew 25 in Action

August 04, 2023

“I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”


“When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matthew 25:35–36,40, NLT).

Jesus instructed us to love one another (John 13:35), but He also taught that we must demonstrate His love to those outside our own circles. In Matthew 25:31–46, He taught that without love for others, we cannot truthfully claim love for Him. He explained to the disciples that those who had shown His love to those in need would be invited to His eternal kingdom.


Help your students develop a habit of living out their discipleship both by planning activities and encouraging individuals, couples, or small groups to engage in practical ministry outside the classroom. Below are a few ideas to get you started. Take time with your class to brainstorm more ways of living out God’s Word among believers and unbelievers.


“I was hungry . . . ”

Prior to the  Covid-19 pandemic, “food insecure” people in the U.S. hovered at just over ten percent. Try to comprehend that one in ten people in the U.S. does not have enough food! Your class can help address this need. Where do unsheltered people in your community go for meals? Volunteer to prepare and serve a meal, perhaps, on a monthly basis. Could your church create a food pantry for individuals and families in need? Or consider doing a food drive to help stock the shelves at a local existing pantry.


“I was thirsty . . . ”

When was the last time you thought about not having access to clean water? Yet, in many countries around the world, people live every day with unsafe water. Sustain Hope is one of our Assemblies of God World Missions ministries under CompassionLink to teach communities effective solutions in sustainable development, including methods such as water purification, fuel-efficient stoves and alternative fuel sources.  Learn more at


“I was a stranger . . .”

Even smaller cities have a surprising number of people who do not know where they will sleep tonight. Consider volunteering at an existing sleep shelter. If your church has a gym or other large room, check into the possibility of becoming a sleep shelter on dangerously cold nights, providing cots and a couple of volunteers to monitor the shelter throughout the night. Consider providing a simple breakfast in the morning as an added blessing to the homeless.


“I was naked . . .”

Many of our closets are filled with clothes we never wear. Yet, we buy one more coat, one more outfit, or one more pair of shoes. When our closets are full, we complain about the size of the closet rather than our overabundant supply of clothing. Yet, other people cannot look for a job without appropriate clothing for an interview or for working in an office daily. Children endure bullying at school because their toes are sticking out of their shoes or their jeans are too short. Consider hosting a clothing drive. Class members could bring in gently used clothing. Wash and repair the clothes before taking them to a homeless shelter or a local clothing bank.


“I was sick . . . ”

Illness, especially a long one, takes a toll on both the patient and the family member who provides care. Look for these people in your church and in your community. Offer to sit with someone who is ill to give the caretaker a break. Provide lawn work or house cleaning to relieve stress and show love. If a parent of a young child is ill, provide a nutritious meal for the family. Don’t forget to provide disposable plates and silverware to avoid extra clean-up.


“I was in prison . . . ”

Depending on your location, this part of Jesus’ teaching might seem difficult. But, troubled people live all around us. Volunteering at an after-school club might eventually help keep a young person out of prison. Mentoring a child whose parent is incarcerated is an indirect way of ministering to the prisoner. Providing Bibles and study materials to a local jail could make the difference between a person becoming a repeat offender or a productive member of society. Some churches do regular ministry inside prison walls, but that opportunity is not available to everyone. Look for ways you can make a difference to the incarcerated and their families.


See your world through the eyes of Jesus

Do you look away when you see someone on the street holding a sign that says, “Hungry”? Do you quicken your steps when an unsavory person approaches you in a parking lot? Do you assume someone in need is lazy?


Jesus calls us to look at people through His eyes. While caution is certainly in order in today’s culture, we still need to look at people through the eyes of Jesus. Praying, giving, and volunteering demonstrate His love to the suffering.


How to choose a Sunday School curriculum

Sort through your curriculum options with this checklist to find the right choice for your ministry.