"1.75 billion people are desperately poor, 1 billion are hungry, millions are trafficked in slavery, and pandemic diseases are gouging entire nations. Each year nearly 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade. And in the 5 minutes it took you to read this, almost ninety children died of preventable diseases. More than half of all Africans do not have access to modern health facilities. As a result, 10 million of them die each year from diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, malaria, and measles. Many of those deaths could be prevented by one shot.
Yet in the midst of the wreckage, here we stand, the modern-day version of the Jerusalem church. Ours is the wealthiest generation of Christians ever. A mere 2 percent of the world's grain harvest would be enough, if shared, to erase the problems of hunger and malnutrition around the world. We have enough food to feed the hungry.
And we have enough bedrooms to house the orphans. Here's the math. There are 145 million orphans worldwide. Nearly 236 million people in the United States call themselves Christians. From a purely statistical standpoint, American Christians by themselves have the wherewithal to house every orphan in the world.
Of course, many people are not in a position to do so. They are elderly, infirm, unemployed, or simply feel no call to adopt. Yet what if a small percentage of them did? Hmm, let's say 6 percent. If so, we could provide loving homes for the more than 14.1 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic.
This much is clear: the storehouse is stocked. The problem is not in the supply; the problem is in the distribution. God has given this generation, our generation, everything we need to alter the course of human suffering.
When your grandchildren discover you lived during a day in which 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungry, how will they judge your response?
We are given a choice...an opportunity to make a big difference during a difficult time. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God's love and life? What if we followed the example of the Jerusalem church? This tiny sect expanded into a world-changing force. What can we learn from their priorities and passion?
We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven but here on earth.
Here's a salute to a long life: goodness that outlives the grave, love that outlasts the final breath.
May you live in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life."
~Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado~