As you think about what you are going to spend on gifts for friends and family this season, I strongly encourage all of you who profess to follow Christ to take a minute or two, and spend some money, on helping our brothers and sisters around the world who have so much less than we do.
Over 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day with nearly half the world’s population (2.8 billion) living on less than $2 a day. Everyday, around the world, fifty thousand people die unnecessarily because of poverty. Eight hundred million will go to bed hungry tonight.
These are big numbers and somewhat hard to comprehend for me. It's helpful for me to picture my brother or sister starving to death, my best friend going to bed hungry, and all the kids in our church dying before they turn 5. Would I shrug and think, wow, I'm glad that's not me? Those numbers mean that if I live on $731.00 a year, I have more than half of the world. Does this touch my heart and change my actions? Has God blessed me just so I can live a comfortable life? I pray that I will not hear things like this and assent to their truth, but live as if I didn't care.
"Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'" Matthew 19:21
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." Matthew 25:35
"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." Luke 12:33
"But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind." Luke 14:13
"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18
Will you use what God's blessed you with to do something about the need around you? Here's a few reputable organizations that actively share the gospel and help care for physical needs. While I think personally going and finding needs and helping meet them is much more of what we see happening in the Bible, if you are not ready to do that, at least consider supporting those who are.