Summary: God wants us to care about whats happening to others in our world
By Garrett Edwards
Every year around this time, people start thinking about what kinds of things they will be willing to sacrifice for world vision’s 40 hour famine.
People, churches, youth groups, schools, businesses, if they are so inclined, ask for a little booklet from world vision and wonder, ’what are we, what am I, going to be willing to sacrifice for 40 hours this year?’ and as we know, those who get involved are asked to get sponsored in this sacrifice and so begins a couple of weeks of going around to friends and strangers alike, asking them for money to sponsor us and raise money for the disadvantaged of the world.
And this money helps in many ways; it goes to countries suffering from war, starving nations, countries ravaged by famine and disease.
This year the money is being raised to help combat child exploitation and trafficking.
In looking for an illustration to introduce CLAY to this year’s 40 hour famine, I found a clip on the internet about the growing sex trade.
And I tell you, that it hit me like a punch in the stomach, It was very confronting and after watching it I wasn’t sure if I wanted to show it at youth group.
I sent it to Chris and he agreed, so hard hitting. Because not only do these vile people profit from trading in adult women, but now they have discovered that 50% of this trade is in children under the age of 13. 50 percent!
The clip followed a couple of people trying to break into the market to help bring it down and they entered a porn house, another growing industry in countries heavily involved in the sex trade.
And the narrator said that along with the rise in explicit pornography came a rise in sexual assaults, those charged with these offences admitted to trying to re-enact scenes from the movies they had just watched!
Do you see the need? Do we see the need?!
This is a pretty intense passage isn’t it?
We can see just how serious Jesus is about social justice and what he expects from us. (next slide)
Many people wonder, what’s the job that needs to get done while we are here?
Micah, a prophet of the Old Testament was around in a time of great fear and confusion for Israel. Assyria, the powerhouse nation of the time
Was attempting to conquer them, not only that but the age old problem of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer was obvious and destroying the city from the inside.
And it was during this critical time that the lord sent Micah to them with a message that denounced injustice and false faith, and if they didn’t get their act together Israel would suffer destruction and exile.
Perhaps the best known verse of Micah is found in chapter 6 verse 8, ’he has showed you O mortal what is good.
And what does the lord require of you?
But to do justice and to love kindness
And to walk humbly with your God.’
You see the Israelites were asking how they could make it up to God, they wanted to know how to make him happy again.
And so they turned to their rituals, their empty rituals.
Micah had to explain to them that rituals themselves did not appease, or satisfy God appeasement wasn’t the issue.
The issue was how they were living their lives. They were acting unjustly. They didn’t care for what God expected of them until they needed him. They were a proud and arrogant people.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Injustice in the world. The gap between rich and poor growing. The powerful taking advantage of the weak!
What’s our role here on earth? What’s the job that needs to get done while we are here?
Hebrews chapter 13 tells us what it is: ’Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured as though you yourselves were being tortured.’
Do we see the need?
God’s heart is clear on this! And I know that just like me you’ve probably heard this sermon a hundred times in a hundred different ways!
And if that’s the case, then what’s the problem? Is something holding us back from acting justly and loving kindness?
Could it be that for a lot of us selfishness is holding us back?
Life is a struggle, life is a challenge, life is a distraction. Getting up every day, having breakfast, lunch, dinner. Taking care of the kids, taking them to school, studying, going to work, meeting demands, fulfilling responsibilities. Having time off, relaxing. For a lot of us living out our lives, fulfilling all the things that make you, you and me, me, distract us from the bigger issues