Posted by: Louise | December 17, 2010

Overfed and unconcerned.

(I’m continuing my thoughts started here.)

Have you ever been truly hungry? Have you ever set aside a day or two for fasting? Although hunger pains are real for us who voluntarily choose to go without food, I have a feeling they would be much more intense if we didn’t know when those pains would be soothed with nourishing food from our full fridges or cupboards. Children come to our gate hungry, looking for rice. Often they come a supper time, I know they can hear the clattering of our metal utensils against our plates through our open windows. We have ample food that is nutritious and it tastes good (well most of the time!). I’m challenged to know how to help these little children. To know the BEST way to help them. I have the challenge of the poor literally in my face, I can’t ignore it. I have a responsibility. However, I think we all have a responsibility to the poor even if they are not literally at our gate.

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For many years I have believed that helping the poor with medical outreach and feeding programs is a great way to show God’s love and a vehicle through which we can present the gospel to people. While I still believe it would be wrong to either ignore the spiritual needs or the material needs of the poor, the more I read scripture, the more I see an emphasis on God’s heart for the poor. How God expected His people to be concerned for people who don’t have their needs met. How God expected that concern to be turned into action.

I recently listened to a very challenging sermon on “The Gospel Demands Radical Giving” by Dr Platt. He pointed out something I have never noticed before. What were the sins that God punished Sodom for? Well sexual sin is the thing that probably jumps to mind. However there was more to it than that. Read what Ezekiel 16:49 says

” ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy”.

Wow, overfed and unconcerned. Those word especially struck my heart. Overfed and unconcerned.

Here are some quotes from Dr Platt’s sermon that I found particularly challenging.

“Caring for the poor is not an optional extra in salvation. It is a necessary evidence of salvation”. (Luke 19:8-9)


“We are motivated to care for the poor by the gospel (2 Cor 8:9). We obey Christ not because we feel guilty but because we are saved. We obey becasue we are new creature and are redeemed. We don’t need to indulge ourselves because we are living for another world and we gladly invest our lives and our possessions and our everything for the poor and we forsake the treasures of this world because we know there is a day coming when this upsdie down world will be turned right side up”.


Oh Lord, I fear that I am too well feed and have too little concern for those who are struggling to find food, clean water, stay warm, pay for medical care, cloth their children……. Lord I need you to change my heart.   


You can listen to the sermon here. It is part of a series that I am slowly listening too. They should come with a warning – they will not leave you feeling comfortable.

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Responses

  1. Hi Louise,

    Thank you so much for the message. Yes, you are so right at times we are so busy doing what we think is the right thing to do that we miss some of the things that really need our attention. You have really struck home with me. my heart for the past two or so years have really been for the homeless. I am looking into ways to help more than I am. Thank you so much again for this word. May you Mark and the family have a wonderful and Blessed Christmas. Love, Dan and Family

  2. Dear Louise,
    It is not a problem that we are well fed. It is a problem when those around us are not well fed.

    Just feed with simple food the ones who turn up at your door. I enjoyed being ‘mugged’ by the truly hungry urchins that wanted rice, but not the cheeky well-dressed ones that wanted cookies. I hope you have patience at this time of Merry Chreeeeeestmas!

    It is harder to care here in the UK when the really poor don’t regularly turn up on your doorstep. Let us know if you need more resources for your frontline distribution service!

    A very Happy Christmas to you all,
    Brian


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