Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Distribution Problems

One of our students led a really good devotional tonight at our leadership meeting. Heidi is a senior and serves as a community group leader in our ministry here at Cornell.
In class the other day she got to watch a documentary and learn about some of the disparities in India. India is one of the world’s major food producers growing foods like rice, wheat, corn, and beans as well as raising poultry, beef and dairy. India is second to China in terms of agricultural production, but they account for less than 1.5 per cent of international food trade.This means that most of the food cultivated in India stays in India. And yet India is home to one quarter of the world’s starving population and one third of the children in India are malnourished.

It just doesn’t make sense! There is plenty of food, but there is a major distribution problem. Learning about this was very engaging and emotional, but upon further reflection, Heidi began to be convicted about the “distribution problems” in her own life relating to evangelism. All around us there are people “starving” for the “bread of life” and we have plenty of it! We are called to share this spiritual nourishment with the whole world, but we are reluctant to. We’ll gorge ourselves attending Bible studies, listening to sermons, going to church services, prayer groups, meetings, concerts, and having devotional times; we know what the Bible says but we fail to deliver the Good news to those we see every day.

Heidi walked us thru two passages together:

Romans 10:11-15

11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Matthew 9:35-38

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Next she asked a couple of questions to the group. I’ll write down her questions, and then some of the answers that students gave as we kicked it around a bit.

1. Why is it often so hard to talk to others about Jesus even when we know how important it is?

· We mostly think of our selves, we are self-centered and self conscious. We fear the reactions of others.

· We can feel inadequate.

· We can feel unworthy or like a hypocrite.

· More concerned about our own image, and our pride.

· We don’t see the urgency of it all.

· We don’t really believe the Gospel is good news.

2. What are some things you have done or experienced that have helped you to move beyond these things?

· Yield to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives

· Witness in community.

· Understand and experience God’s love so you can adequately reflect it.

· Evaluate whether you really love God

· Believe God that there are people around who want to hear the good news.

· Pray that God would open your eyes to the harvest.

Heidi ended our devo time by asking everyone to think of practical ways they they could be more missional in their daily lives. It was a blessing for us to reflect on God’s call, the need in the world, and to repent of our personal “distribution problems.”

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