Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty's Hope

So the poor have hope,
and injustice shuts her mouth.
Job 5:16
Today is Blog Action Day, where thousands of people around the world join together with the "voices" of their blogs to raise awareness for a specific issue. This year, the issue at hand is poverty and we join with thousands, perhaps millions, of people around the world to grow in our understanding of poverty's grip on the world.
The Bible is far from silent on the issue of poverty. In fact, many people would suggest that the Bible is skewed in favor of those who have less. It was Jesus who said "Blessed are the poor" in the book of Luke. And, who can forget the difficulty of a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Luke 18:25)? The OT prophets cried out against injustice toward the poor and demanded just scales and measures.
As Christian people, what are we doing, not only to alleviate poverty, but to promote justice to the poor. We serve a God who cares for the poor, and I beleive he is honored when we work to overcome poverty in our world. There are things, small and large, that you can do to help with the issue of poverty.
1. Pray. If indeed he is the hope of the poor, then we have confidence that a God who answers prayer will hear and answer our prayers for the poor.
2. Give. How can you give? Well, you can give through the World Hunger Fund (our church does this every year), Compassion International, Samaritan's Purse (Shoeboxes), and even to the guy on the street corner.
3. Shop Wisely. This is an area where I do not excel, but we should all strive to shop in such a way that oppression of the poor is not encouraged. Fair Trade Agricultural products (such as coffee) are bought from developing countries at fair prices and are grown in ways that are not ecologically destructive.
4. Educate. Many people simply are not aware of the grip of poverty. Travel outside of the United States and you will be shocked at the poverty in which many of the world's people live.
We serve a big God who has called us to a robust gospel. Let's not allow our faith to be so small that it only focuses on our immediate surroundings. Jesus said the poor would be with us always, so maybe we can never completely erradicate poverty, but if we can help just a few people, then surely they will be grateful and God will be glorified. God is the hope of the poor, and we are the hands and feet of God.

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