Focal Passage: Deuteronomy 15:7-11
Nearly half of the world’s population – more than 3 billion people – lives on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty, which is less than $1.25 a day.
According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. Most who are reading the words on this page have a home, food, income and provisions.
Too often in America we have a wrong view of the poor who are around us. The poverty we are faced with today is not because the world lacks resources; it is because we have set our priorities in the wrong areas. Some people today do not have concern for those who lack.
Most of those held in the chains of poverty are not there because of what they have or have not done. Some are there because of the sinful choices of others. In fact, it could be our own sinful choices that help to keep them there. As Christians, God wants us to love our neighbors (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39). We say we truly believe this, however, it is not what we believe that counts. It is what we believe enough to live out before the world that makes a difference.
George Bernard Shaw, an avowed atheist and later part of the New Age movement, said, “The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.”
Giving our money is important, but often we give so that we can salve our conscience and feel that we have done what God desires. Showing God to those around us involves our personal interaction with those in need. Richard Stearns, president of World Vision says, “If we truly love God, we will express it by loving our neighbors, and when we truly love our neighbors, it expresses our love for God.”
If we want the world to see Jesus, we need to be out there living like Him. We must give of our time and talents to those we meet. Remember: do not fail to do something just because you cannot do everything. We must do what we can, with what we have, for as long as we can.