"Summertime and the living is easy".
That's the song that's been bobbing around my head for the past few weeks. I'm not exactly sure why it drifted into my head, but there it landed and it has now overstayed its welcome! Apparently the song is from a 1930s opera called "Porgy and Bess". As I'm not that old and I don't like opera, you can see why I'm wondering why it found such a happy home in my head.
Apart from the obvious fact that we are now in Summer time, the "living is easy" part may have been brought to mind by the recent G8 summit which was held here in Northern Ireland. The G8 is the collection of leaders from the world's eight richest nations who meet once a year. One of their topics for discussion was reducing hunger in developing countries. I had then been thinking about riches and how we have it 'easy' in this part of the world. As I thought more about this "easy living" compared to those in many other parts of the world, it made me feel uncomfortable.
I then remembered an old illustration that I saw a few years ago…
If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, there would be:
If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than three quarters of this world.
If you have money in the bank, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
Just around this time I received an email from a good friend in Nigeria about the orphans in his care, further cementing my thoughts about the riches we have compared to others. My friend is struggling to feed and clothe these young kids. That's some of them in the photo below receiving a box of second hand clothes.
Finally, I thought about a Man who was rich and yet for our sakes gave up those riches and willingly set aside His privileges…
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich. (2 Cor. 8:9)
The Lord Jesus Christ became poor that we might gain true eternal riches. These true riches are forgiveness by a holy God and an eternal home in Heaven. A home unmatched by any in our world today! And if you don't know God's forgiveness - please click on the link at the bottom of this page.
Our world has enough food to feed all its 8 billion inhabitants and yet almost a billion people go hungry every day and a further billion people are undernourished. It is due to our greed that we have excess in certain parts of the globe and starvation in other parts. I also read recently that the United Nations have listed the two major health issues in the world today as malnutrition AND obesity!
We should be ensuring that no nation is left without enough food to feed its people.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed. (Prov 19:17)
May our riches be not in the things of this world but in the things of eternity; not in the things that we have, but in the things that we do; not in ourselves, but in our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Material riches are only for a season, eternal riches are for eternity.
Until next month then (DV)…
(All Bible quotations are from the ESV)
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