Being that it’s Thanksgiving, a day that many of us take stock of all the many blessings that have been given to us, I thought I would blog from “Radical” by David Platt on a few pages that he deals with our responsibility to the poor.
Below are some excerpts from pages 108-110
“Not long ago God began uncovering a blind spot in my life. An area of disobedience. A reality in God’s word that I had pretended did not exist. More aptly put, I had lived as if it did not exist. But God brought me to a place of confession before Him, before my family, and before the faith family I lead.
Today more than a billion people in the world live and die in desperate poverty. They attempt to survive on less than a dollar per day. Close to two billion others live on less than two dollars per day. That’s nearly half the world struggling today to find food, water, and shelter with the same amount of money I spend on french fries for lunch.
More than twenty six thousand (26,000) children today will breathe their last breath due to starvation or a preventable disease. To put it in perspective for me, that’s twenty six thousand (26,000) Joshuas and Calebs (my two young sons). To put it in perspective for the church I pastor, if this were happening among the children in my community, then every child eighteen years or younger in our county would be dead within the next two days.
Suddenly I began to realize that if I have been commanded to make disciples of all nations, and if poverty is rampant in the world to which God has called me, then I cannot ignore these realities. Anyone wanting to proclaim the glory of Christ to the ends of the earth must consider not only how to declare the gospel verbally but also how to demonstrate the gospel visibly in a world where so many are urgently hungry. If I am going to address urgent spiritual need by sharing the gospel of Christ or building up the body of Christ around the world, then I cannot overlook dire physical need in the process.
Frighteningly, though, I have turned a bling eye to those realities. I have practically ignored these people, and I have been successful in my ignorance because they are not only poor but also powerless. Literally millions of them are dying in obscurity, and I have enjoyed my affluence while pretending they don’t exist.
But they do exist. Not only do they exist, but God takes very seriously how I respond to them….
Yet, while caring for the poor is not the basis of our salvation, this does not mean that our use of wealth is totally disconnected from our salvation. Indeed, caring for the poor (among other things) is evidence of our salvation.
If there is no sign of caring for the poor in our lives, then there is reason to at least question whether Christ is in our hearts.”
How much food did you eat today? Two, three maybe even four plates of food. How about slices of pie? Two or three. How much of your Thanksgiving food is in your refrigerator right now?
Do you think that you have too much on Thanksgiving? I know I did, and do.
Within a 1/2 mile of my house right now I am fairly sure that there are families that maybe had a meal today, maybe. And it was no where near the dinner that my family enjoyed.
I, like so many Christians in the American Church, am guilty for my lack of concern for the poor.
Did you know that Christians world wide, especially in very poor Nations and Nations where it is dangerous to be a Christian, are praying for the American Church. They are praying that we don’t allow our riches and wealth to rob us from having a deep and mature relationship with Jesus.
Do you know what happens when you throw away the American Dream? Our focus shifts.
It’s no longer important to have things, big things, expensive things, many things or even nice things.
My brothers and sisters, if our lives do not reflect radical compassion for the poor, there is reason to wonder if Christ is really in us at all.
God has called every one of us to take care of the poor, are you being obedient to this?
Doing my best to radically take back my faith from the American Dream,