Loving “the least of these” gives purest joy; perhaps because it is the same joy God experiences when He loves us. Jesus described “the least of these” as the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned and said when we love THEN, we are loving HIM. (Matt. 25:44) Furthermore, God describes “pure religion” as caring for the fatherless and widows—or, the most helpless sector of society. (James 1:27) I’d never understood the direct relationship between loving those who cannot return love and–the quality of joy I could experience. I was content to glean temporal satisfaction by giving to those who could give me something in return because–I had never experienced pure joy. Pure joy is from Holy God; and He, alone, gives it to those who choose to live in pureness of heart. Pureness of heart comes only from God. As our heart opens up to God, we listen and He makes us aware of priceless opportunities to minister to those who are powerless to reciprocate. We experience God’s purest joy. Before God WE are ALL hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned—we are without hope! He is our Savior and our Hero, Who rescues us from unthinkable tragedy. We are helpless without His sustaining power and amazing grace. Compared to God, WE are the “least of these.” I can only imagine the great joy He experiences when we, whom He deemed worthy of the life of His Son, choose to leave our self-destructive ways and live in the peaceful habitation of His will. In His will, our gracious Father gives us the opportunity to experience His pure joy by doing for others what He does for us! The joy He gives us when we love those who cannot return love—this joy defies description. It swells in our heart as if it will burst with contentment. It gives us peace, yet we overflow with power. It fills us, yet we are always hungry for more. And there is plenty more—all around us are the hearts of those who, like us, have a powerful need for Almighty God. We are surrounded by opportunities for joy and God rejoices when we live in the joy of His will! “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17)