Continuing our series on the Tim Hughes song God of Justice, with a look at how we can “live to feed the hungry”
First of all, why should why? What is the importance to us of making sure the hungry get fed? Will firstly there’s Jesus’ challenge in Matthew 25v 31- 46 that whatever we do for people in need, we are doing for Jesus himself:
But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nationswill be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
And then there’s also the fact that in Isaiah 58, God says that feeding the hungry and helping the oppressed is what true worship is.
Also, in James 2 v14-26 James gives the challenge that your faith must be backed up by deeds, otherwise it is worthless.
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
What good is it saying we believe in the Kingdom of God if we are not prepared to work to advance it?
So what can we do to “live to feed the hungry”?
Well first of all, make www.thehungersite.com your homepage. Then, everyday you go online just by clicking a button you are helping to give food to those in need due to adverts on the site.
Consider getting your youth group to run a raffle or fireside quiz sheet, with the proceeds going to a charity that works to feed the hungry, such as Oxfam, Tearfund, Save the Children or one of the many others out there.
Or get together with some friends and collect stuff you no longer have any need for – old clothes, cds, dvds, books etc and take it to a car boot sale, and give the money to a charity.
Have you got other ideas of what can be done by young people to help make a difference to those in desperate need of food? Add it below in the comments section!