In Jesus’ Words: The parable of the good crop (Matthew 12:48-13:9)

grocery storeThere are 7 billion people in the world.  350 million live in the United States of America.
America has 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes 40% of the world’s resources.
One billion people in the world do not have access to clean water.
The average American uses 400-600 liters of water every day.
800 million people will not eat today.  Every 7 seconds a child dies from hunger.
The average American family throws away between 15-40% of the food they purchase.
92% of the world’s population does not own a car.  One-third of American families own at least three cars.
Research suggests the cost of providing basic human needs (water, food, basic health care) for everyone in the world to be around $20 billion.  Each year Americans spend around $20 billion on ice cream.
Americans spend more every year on trash bags than half of the world does on all goods combined.
(source: UNICEF)

I am an American.
I am every one of these statistics.

“Americans are more than just unaware of their affluence – they almost seem to despise it at times.  I stared in amazement at how they treated their beautiful clothes and shoes.  The richness of the fabrics and colors was beyond anything I had ever seen.  As I would discover again and again, this nation routinely takes its astonishing wealth for granted.
Americans seemed to have a need to surround themselves with noise all the time.  It was as if they were trying to escape from a guilt they had not yet defined or identified.
Sometimes I cannot freely order food when traveling in the U.S.  I look at the costs (and the carelessness) and realize how far that amount of money would go in India or Philippines.  Suddenly I am not quite as hungry as before.”
– K.P. Johannan, Revolution in World Missions

But there is hope.

“The U.S. is one of the only nations in the world founded by believers who made a covenant with God – dedicating a new nation to God.  Born into influence – we should be most thankful and ask what we should do with these unearned favors.
If you want to meet the needs of the poor, there is no better place to start than sharing the Gospel.  It has done more to lift up the downtrodden, hungry, and needy than all the social programs imagined by secular humanists.”
– K.P. Johannan

I don’t want to wait until the end of my life to fully embrace what Jesus is telling us.

~ Matthew 12:48-13:9  The Parable of the Good Crop ~

“Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”  And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, Jesus said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.”

Then He told them many things in parables, saying: “Consider the sower who went out to sow.  As he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up.  Others fell on rocky ground, where there wasn’t much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep.  But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered.  Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them.  Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown. Anyone who has ears should listen!”

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Charity in America

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A wealthy Christian man who lost everything in a financial downturn was asked if he ever regretted all he had given to the Lord’s work.
He replied, “What I gave, I still have. What I kept, I lost.”

 

 

As an American, we like to have our opinions.  We have opinions on everything from how to handle Ebola and gun violence, to how we should be spending our taxes and whether or not our favorite sports team played well.  We love our free speech and our beliefs.  Most of America was formed out of the quest for these two freedoms. We cannot lose them, for there is no where else to go on earth to find the same.  Though we are sometimes divided as a nation on where we stand with our opinions, there is one unique and inclusive part to America.  It’s our charity.  No other country in the world puts as much emphasis on charity and social welfare as America does.  We should be proud of these efforts.  You can see it everywhere you go: Salvation Army, Red Cross, YMCA’s, United Way, many churches and civic organizations, missions, local food pantries, Angel tree gifts at Christmas, foster care, Girl Scout cookies, and every school and athletic program in between.  In addition, America pays for almost all missions and charities for the rest of the world.  We are a giving nation.  It’s part of our culture, and we should never lose site of this.

Giving brings thankfulness, and thankfulness brings happiness.
Greed, on the other hand, takes away.

If you google “how rich am I“, it will show you a few sites where you can compare your wealth with the rest of the world.  I used globalrichlist.com for these statistics:

If you make $32,500 in U.S. dollars, then you are in the top 1% of the world.

It takes the average worker in Indonesia 43 years to make same amount.

Your monthly income could pay the monthly salaries of 141 doctors in Central Asia.

So the next time I find myself complaining about dirty dishes in the sink, piles of laundry and unmade beds, and not getting that raise I think I deserved, I will instead be thankful for food to eat, clothes to wear, a warm bed at night, and will skip that extra double chocolate mocha and help someone in need.

May we all be blessed with thankfulness.

Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
Psalm 41:1

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