"God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation…Therefore let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose."
    -- John Piper

  • Mercy House

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  • James 2:14-17

    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

    In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

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The Numbers

6.7 Billion:  Total Population of the Globe

 Around 3 BillionThe total number of people worldwide living on less than $2.00 per day

 Approximately 30,000: The number of children who die each day due to poverty (lack of food, lack of clean water, and disease) – that’s 18 children dying every minute, a child every three seconds.  Put another way, the entire population of Cook County, IL under the age of 18 would perish in 46 days.

 Over 11 million children die each year from preventable causes like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.

 About 20% of the population in the developed nations consumes 86% of the world’s goods.

 The poorest 40% of the world’s population accounts for 5% of the global income.

 The richest 20% of the world’s population accounts for 75% of the global income.

 About 20% of the population in the developed nations consumes 86% of the world’s goods.

 Nearly 175 Million:  The number of orphans worldwide.

 Just sit and think about these numbers for a minute (or ten or twenty.)  The sources are pretty solid (www.mercycorps.org, http://www.globalissues.org, http://www.poverty.com) and these are generally pretty widely accepted numbers.  While you are pondering, consider another number:

 2.1 Billion:  The number of people who would generally label themselves as Christian. 

 (I want to be clear that I don’t think that the number of true Christ Followers worldwide is anywhere near that high—the number generally seems to be reflective of anyone who might wear the label but who is not necessarily living in an active relationship with Jesus) 

 That said, with nearly a third of the world’s population calling themselves Christian, why are the numbers previously cited so ridiculously high, and downright offensive? 

 Oh, I have a few more numbers to share:

 21:13 No, this isn’t a ratio.  It is a chapter and verse—from the book of Proverbs.  It reads like this:   If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. (emphasis added)

 14:31 (Proverbs)  He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. 

 28:27  (Proverbs)  He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

 I think you see where I’m going with this, but if you need it spelled out here you go:

 If you are going to wear the label, you better consider whether you believe everything that’s in the Bible.  Do you believe every word?  Is your Church living every word?  Is your life reflective of every word?  Some would say this is radical or even impossible.  I guess by the world’s standards it probably is.  By God’s standards, it’s just what he’s asked us to do.    You all know that I continue to struggle with the surrender thing, but as I continue to read, I don’t see any other way to live it out.  Illustrating that point is Luke 9:62:

 “Jesus Replied:  No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God’

 I keep looking back.  I’m not sure what else is back there, but it sure must be alluring. 

 Go back and read through the numbers again.  If you need some more references for how you should be feeling, take a look at the following scripture verses.

 Luke 6:20-25

Luke 18:18-25(spend a long time on this one)

James 5:1-5

Luke 14:25-35

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