Reality Check

For those of us who may be thinking that we are stretched to the breaking point in our finances, or that the challenges of parenting are just too hard – this should provide a reality check.

At first sight it seems the ultimate in child cruelty – a two-year-old boy chained to a lamp post to stop him getting away.

Yet his parents say this is the only way they can guarantee not to lose him.

His father Chen Chuanliu works as an unlicensed rickshaw cyclist in Beijing, taking fares all over the city, while the boy’s disabled mother collects rubbish at the roadside.

They say they secured their son, Lao Lu, with a padlock around his ankle because his four-year-old sister Ling was ‘stolen’ from them last month.

Child snatching is rife in China, where strict laws govern the size of families.

You can read the rest of the article here.

This past Sunday we looked at  Luke 16:1-13.  So why do we need to use our money in shrewd and imaginitive ways to bring the gospel to our world?

  • Because we live in a world where people are still judged by thier race, and denied support based on thier genetics.
  • Because children around the world are regularly stolen and pressed into slavery.
  • Because we live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with trillions of dollars of discretionary income.
  • Because there are many who will read this story and think that this family needs to pull themselves up by thier bootstraps and become financially independent – the way they themselves have.
  • Because this father and mother need a spiritual family, called the church, to help them grieve, to watch their son, to help this father provide for his family, and to help them find their life in their Heavenly Father’s love.

Why do we need to use what (seems like it) is ours for the good of others? Because our great missionary God spared no expense to free us from our deep poverty – the debt we owed due to our rampant and unrepentant sin. Jesus left the riches of heaven and the comfort of perfect community to bring us into community. At infinite expense to Himself, Jesus took the wrath that we deserved and gave to us His righteousness (2Cor. 5:21). God the Father took us into His family, adopted us as His children (Rom. 8:12ff), and made us heirs with Christ.

The point of this post is not that we would say, “Thank God I do not live in Beijing” or “I am so glad my child was not stolen” – it is that we would say, “Thank God for Jesus! There is a Great God who has provided more than I could dream of, and other poor and destitute deserve to know.”

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