Posts Tagged ‘Poverty’

Thanks to Charlie Jordan for finding this. The atheist who wrote this article, Matthew Parris, describes the regeneration associated with faith and the work of the Holy Spirit in a far more moving and convincing way than most Western Christians. I recommend you read the whole thing

Before Christmas I returned, after 45 years, to the country that as a boy I knew as Nyasaland. Today it’s Malawi, and The Times Christmas Appeal includes a small British charity working there. Pump Aid helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean. I went to see this work.

It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I’ve been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I’ve been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

read it all here

First of all, let’s admit that there is not a lot we can do to change our circumstances. Our economy is in trouble and none of us can change that by working harder. Not one person that I have talked to is hurting financially because they are lazy. They are willing to work hard, but that is not the issue. No amount of hard work and ingenuity can change their situation. We are now beginning to feel the weight of our true needs.  It’s not as if we didn’t have those needs before, but without the cushion of financial security, we feel those needs more deeply.  Aren’t we all in desperate Spiritual need all the time? Isn’t this why we needed Jesus to “move in next door” to us, to become a man, to give His life? This Christmas season provides us with a great opportunity to worship Jesus. We are desperate. We have come to the end of ourselves. We need Jesus to dwell with us.

Secondly, let’s admit that we do not consist of the things we own or the money we have or the jobs that we do. The Scripture tells us that we are more than what we wear or what we eat. Now more than ever, we have the opportunity to feel that truth. We may not have jobs or money or financial security, but we do have our spouses, our children, our church family and most of all, we have Christ Jesus – the greatest gift that God could give us. Jesus never owned a home. Never had a savings account. The Son of Man had no place to lay his head. Yet, he was satisfied with the love of His Father. He trusted that His Father would commune with Him and ultimately would provide for Him. When He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Jesus makes it clear that His greatest need was not food or shelter, but His greatest need was to commune with His Father. As hard as it may seem, and as foreign as it may be to our flesh, isn’t this also true for us.  We may not want to believe it.  But ultimately, we need Jesus to feed us.

read the rest here