Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Poverty's place in God's plan.

Some thoughts from my morning Bible reading.

Luke 12:22-31 “Do Not Worry”

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
You may have noticed the MakePovertyHistory band at the top of my blog. I have been a close supporter of this cause for about 6 months, following the ‘movement’ receiving emails and consciously trying to find ways in my life where I can impact the effects of poverty on people in Australia and the rest of the world (particularly Africa). I even wear the white armband to raise awareness for the cause.

As I was reading Luke 12 this morning, I couldn’t help but think of all the poor people in the world, all the people who are devastated by famine, war, drought and poverty. I wondered where all that fits into God’s plan of ‘do not worry’?

“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
God will provide these things??? Yet there are millions dieing of starvation, dieing from exposure, where does that fit into this passage from the mouth of Jesus?? I feel these people have no choice but to worry... they are dieing from lack of food and shelter!

I’m glad I didn’t stop reading there, because the next paragraph had my answers.

Luke 12:32-34

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus is talking to us! To those who believe in him, those who have so much stuff, and DO worry about where we’re gonna get our next materialistic fix! God does not want poverty to exist in this world. However I believe it is through all of us in the West not listening to Jesus, and worrying about all that stuff which is causing the poverty in the rest of the world.

Imagine if we did not worry, but sold our ‘stuff’ and gave that money to repair Africa, South America, Asia and parts of Europe! Poverty would be History! And quite quickly too!!!

I know I fail so badly in this, even while I was living in Africa I failed! Wanting a generator for power, hot water for my showers, an Internet connection in my house, even a mobile phone!! I lived much simpler than here in Australia, yet I still hung on to certain worries which may have hindered me from reaching more people.

God has no place for poverty in his plan, it is our selfishness and sin which stops God's plan from fulling coming to fruition. It's our sin which causes poverty.

www.makepovertyhistory.com.au

2 comments:

elm0 said...

Having just come back from Zimbabwe, and having read through that section of Luke a few times while I was there, a lot of what you said was stuff I've been thinking about over the last couple of months.

We found out from some of our friends in Zimbabwe how little they actually get paid each month, but they weren't worrying or complaining about it. Then we found out where most of their money went and were left wondering how they survive. A lot of the guys we were working with sent most of their income to their families, mainly to help with school fees for brothers and sisters, or even for nieces, nephews, and cousins. And some of them were even paying school fees for local kids that they weren't even related to!!

I asked one of them how they managed to eat if all their money was sent home, and he said with a smile, "I do not worry about that, and you should read Luke 12."

After reading it, I was amazed. I've read through that part of Luke before, many times, and never really understood it. I think that the main cause for poverty is in fact, as Jesus put it, our 'little faith'. I mean, if faith the size of a mustard seed is all you need to move a mountain, how much less do we need to start doing something about wiping out poverty? Or do we all think moving a mountain would be easier? Note, I said [b]start[/b] doing something, not wipe out poverty. If each person was to start doing their own little bit, and they were all added together, how soon do you think we could make poverty history? And then what next? And then we work on moving mountains. ;)

Jarrol said...

I asked one of them how they managed to eat if all their money was sent home, and he said with a smile, "I do not worry about that, and you should read Luke 12."

Haha I love that mate! I just love the African attitude to life. And EVERYTHING is said with a smile!

The key to these people's faith in provision is that they do give away all they have to help their families, or others. They give EVERYTHING away, yet we give NOTHING, or just enough to make us feel like we're doing something.

Imagine if we gave everything? It scares me, and ashames me that i don't think i have the courage to do that...

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