The Bible says "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". ( Matt. 6:21) If God is the treasure of our souls, then our desires and affections will be on things above. So what do we treasure? As Christians we say we treasure God and supporting our church and world missions. But do we really live like that? We can look at where we actually spend our money and see what we truly value.
North American Christians give an average of 2.5 percent of their income to the church. The average North American church then gives 2 percent of those funds to overseas mission. So that means that for every $100 we make, we are giving 5 cents!!! Yes...I said 5 cents is our contribuion to overseas missions.
"In the early 1990’s, Americans spent annually twice as much on cut flowers as on overseas Protestant ministries, twice as much on women’s sheer hosiery, one and a half times as much on video games, one and a half times as much on pinball machines, slightly more on the lawn industry, about five times as much on pets, one and a half times as much on skin care, almost one and a half times as much on chewing gum, almost three times as much on swimming pools and accessories, approximately
seven times as much on sweets, 17 times as much on diets and diet related products, 20 times as much on sports activities, approximately 26 times as much on soft drinks and a staggering 140 times as much on legalized gambling activities." (David Platt)
How can we live in such affluence while so many are starving and dying? How can we pursue bigger houses and nicer cars when our brothers and sisters have no food or clean water? I think it can be easy to ignore the needs around the world if you pretend that they don't exist. If you're focused on yourself and your family, you can be oblivious to the needs of others, whether they're in your own neighborhood or half way around the world. As parents, we spend much of our lives as our children's entertainment directors. We're raising children who are focused on their own desires to be happy and have fun all of the time.
Not too long ago that was me. But that began changing last summer when I went to Nicaragua. My eyes and heart were opened to great poverty and spiritual need. I had heard about the poverty, but it did not affect me in my daily life. I think that's because even the most impoverished in America have access to food, clean water and shelter. Poverty in Nicaragua and other third world countries is more severe. Over 2 billion people live on less than $2 a day. According to UNICEF, 26,000 children will die today due to either starvation or preventable disease, a disease like diarrhea or pneumonia or malaria, 26,000. I mean, think about
that. 26,000 Christians, Noahs, Tylers and Madisons, my children. If this were true in the community where I live, all the children under 18 would be dead by the end of today. That thought pains my heart and causes me to want to do more to make a difference.
"It is impossible to truly believe in the gospel of Christ and turn a deaf ear to those who’ve never heard of Him or those who are starving outside our doorstep." (David Platt)
I challenge you to open your eyes and your heart to the desparate needs around the world. Just be prepared to experience a whole new way of seeing the value of earthly treasures.