Summary: This is a sermon about World Hunger. (The statistics need to be updated to be current).
OUR MORAL OBLIGATION
INTRO: A pastor tells of a mission tour to the Far East. While in Hong Kong, he observed a hungry little girl outside a bakery window. She had fallen asleep with her face pressed against the window that separated her from the fresh bread inside. He took slides of that scene. When sharing his slide presentation back home, the pastor always climaxed his sermon with that picture and an appeal for people to share Christ, the Living Bread, with a hungry world.
Following one presentation, one worshiper asked him, “What did you do about it?” “About what?” the pastor replied. “About the little girl asleep at the bakery window, what did you do about that?”
To many Americans hunger is dinner a little late, causing a slight discomfort. In our world, one billion people live in a state of absolute poverty. Of that number, the best estimates indicate 700 million people live in a state of constant hunger in a world that, according to experts, has enough grain for everyone to have three thousand calories to consume each day. For these hundreds of millions, hunger is a half-filled bowl once a day. Twenty million people die each year of starvation or hunger-related diseases — twelve million of those are children under the age of five. If all of the world’s hungry were lined up one yard apart, the line would circle the globe twenty-five times.
In the US, fifteen percent of our population lives under the poverty level. An extensive study done by the Harvard School of Public Health found hunger in every state, every town, and every rural area examined. The researchers said, “We went into no region without finding hunger.”
What will we do about world hunger? Christians have the ability and resources to relieve world hunger. The Bible speaks to us about our moral obligation and challenges us to become actively involved.
I. FEEDING THE WORLD’S HUNGRY DEFINES OUR MORAL OBLIGATION.
The apostle Paul was a tremendous preacher, a powerful missionary, and a dynamic witness for Christ. But he was also concerned about social problems. Economic sharing is an important theme in his writings. Paul collected a special offering for the poor at Jerusalem.
In his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul postponed his mission trip to Spain to deliver hunger aid personally. He was pleased the Christians in Macedonia and Achaia had already made “some contributions for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem” (15:26). Not only were they pleased to do it, but the text says they were obligated to do it. (15:27).
The clear directives of Scripture leave no doubt as to our moral obligation for the poor and the hungry.
II. FEEDING THE WORLD’S HUNGRY DEMANDS OUR PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT.
The question with which we all struggle is, What can one person or one church do? The need is so overwhelming. A proverb of the Swahili tribe says, “Drop by drop the bucket fills.” What one person or one church does often seems to be “just a drop in the bucket.” But everyone adding “drops” can fill the bucket. Every one of us can become involved personally.