Summary: We are compelled by compassion to HELP. We help as we Heed the compassion Command, Empty self, Lift the burden and Pay the price.
• Galatians 6:2 (GOD’S WORD)
Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.
This morning we are asking you to give one day’s income to help feed the world. Before we go any further I think we ought to ask if it is fair for any of us to be asked do that! I know that as your pastor I’ve encouraged you to come prepared today to give, but should we be the one’s to help feed the world? Maybe we should ask someone else to do it instead.
Let’s take a look in the mirror this morning and see if it is fair to ask us to give so much at one time. I mean can we really afford to do this?
In 2003 the US Census Bureau reported an increase in poverty among Americans; nearly 35,000,000 Americans live below the poverty level. What exactly does it mean to be poor? And how many of us might qualify as being poor? Perhaps when you see how much American poor have you will quickly realize that the poor in America are not so poor after all.
• 46% of all poor households own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor is a three bedroom house and with 1½ baths a garage and patio. (I for one am jealous of the garage.)
• 76% of poor households have air conditioning. (I’m jealous again.)
• Only 6% of poor households are overcrowded; more than 2/3 have more than two rooms per person. The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, and many other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are of average citizens in foreign countries and not those classified as poor.)
• Nearly ¾ of poor households own a car. 30% owned two or more cars.
• 97% of poor households have a color television; over one half have two or more color TVs. 78% have a VCR or DVD player. 62% have cable or satellite TV reception.
• 73% of poor households own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and 1/3 an automatic dishwasher.
• 89% of poor families report having “enough” food to eat, while only 2% say they “often” do not have enough to eat.
(THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION – January 5, 2004; http://www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/bg1713.cfm)
With a careful look in the mirror I’m sure that all of us are as well off or better than the average or person in America. I think it’s safe to say that all of us can afford to do something to help feed the truly poor in the world.
30,000 people die each and every day from hunger related issues. One writer described it as, “a tsunami, every ten days!” That is truly catastrophic! Who do you know in America that died of hunger?
The World Bank describes half the earth’s population as “poor”, living on less than $2 per day and half of them as “extremely poor”, living on less than $1 per day. That means three billion plus people struggling each and every day to eek out a living. And that number includes multiplied millions of children. UNICEF reports that more than half of the children in the developing world are severely deprived of one or more of the necessities essential to childhood:
• 640 million without adequate shelter
• 500 million with no access to sanitation
• 400 million with no access to safe drinking water
• 300 million lack any access to information
• 270 million with no health care services
• 140 million who have never been to school
• 90 million who are severely food-deprived
(Convoy of Hope – http://www.convoyofhope.org/go/church/one_day_to_feed_the_world)
When compared to the poor and hungry around the world all of us can afford to give one day to feed the world. But for the next few moments lets look beyond being able to afford it, and let’s explore why as Christians our hearts should be motivated to want to give to share with others.
We are COMPELLED BY COMPASSION to H. E. L. P.
• Galatians 6:2 (GOD’S WORD)
HELP carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.
We H. E. L. P.as we:
Heed the compassion command,
Lift the burden, and
Pay the price.
I. HEED the compassion command.
• Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
• Galatians 6:2 (The Living Bible)
Share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command.
1. This is not just the Apostle Paul’s personal view, opinion or a friendly suggestion. We are compelled by compassion by the command of Christ.
• Matthew 22:37-40 NIV
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . . . Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.