Monday, July 16, 2007

John Piper on the prosperity gospel

The last week has been a busy week for me, and I've been unable to post a lot to my blog, but I look forward to changing that this week. There's been so much on my mind lately--so many things God is teaching me, and breaking my heart with.

Like this video. My best friend on the planet(and my brother) , Willie, sent me this video. It's a 3 minute video, so it won't take much of your time. It's from a sermon John Piper gave in Birmingham, AL.

I watch it, and it pierces my heart. While I am writing this little children are dying unnecessarily.

My friend Jake wrote this little paragraph about a farmer he met while doing research in Kenya.
"She was young, but you could read the years of struggling to survive in the lines on her face. She had four small children. Her small, ¾ acre farm did not produce enough for her to adequately feed her family. She couldn’t afford to buy the badly needed fertilizer to enrich her nutrient-depleted soil. In fact, the yield her land produced was only enough to feed her family for four months out of the year. The other eight months she (in her own words), “relied on the grace of God” to be able to feed her family. During the hunger season, she would routinely have to leave her children in the early morning to go hire herself out to work on other farms all day – earning about 75 cents a day – so that she could afford to buy the family’s one meal of the day. Each child would have a cup of tea in the morning and some corn flour porridge or ugali for his one meal at night when she got home. This extreme level of malnutrition has greatly weakened Josephine’s children. The young ones may not make it. She has already lost five children…their young, malnutritioned bodies finally succumbed to malaria because she could not afford mosquito nets to protect the children or malaria medication to treat the disease."
As you start the week this week, I pray that you will think about people like Josephine (the farmer). I pray that you will join with me in prayer about being part of the solution.

The needs in our world are so great. God has called His people to work toward meeting those needs.

It breaks my heart when I am confronted with these realities. When I come face-to-face with the fact that we have brothers and sisters in the world who are suffering and dying because they can't eat, or because they have illnesses that are treatable--it breaks my heart. I have friends who are working on sustainable solutions to these problems.

In the end, I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope that anyone in this world really has. I also know that part of a reflection of that gospel is that we who have found Jesus are empowered to care more deeply for the poor, for the environment, for the sick, and the needy, because we know this brings glory to God, and it witnesses to His great love.

Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, mind soul, and strength.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

I'm praying for creative ways that I can love my neighbor, by caring both for their spiritual needs, and for their physical needs as well.

So there's some heavy thoughts for a monday! Pray with me!


batdog said...

The words of the song playing behind the preaching:
Sometimes when I lose my grip, I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children - this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers - this is our greatest offense

Oh my God
Oh my God
Oh my God

When I heard "All the cries of thirsty children - this is our inheritance" I couldn't hold back the tears.

My heart breaks for them. What makes us better? Look at them: they look so much more like Jesus than we do.

Ariel said...

I wholeheartedly agree. I was brought to tears as well--thank you for sharing this. Now let us pray...then do our parts. We will know when our opportunities to make a difference come. Let us not let them pass...