Today, for Thursday Thoughts, we are going to look at a quote from David Platt’s newest book, Something Needs to Change.  I recently finished reading the book and found it to be heart-wrecking.  Platt’s book is really an account of his weeklong trek through the Himalayas.  After reading the book, you feel as if you were with him on the trek.  At the end of the book, David Platt challenges himself, and every reader, with a pretty profound thought.

“I hope that trekking through the Himalayas has opened your eyes in a fresh way to the reality that many people in the world have little to no knowledge of the gospel.  Many have never even heard the name of Jesus.  I urge you to consider what ways your life, your family, or your church can play a part in getting the gospel to them.  Think about it this way: how would you want a person on the other side of the world to live if you were on a road leading to an eternal hell and no one had ever told you how you could go to heaven?  Answer that question, and then live accordingly.

Something Needs To Change

What are your thoughts after reading that?  I think the final question is framed in such a thought-provoking way.  David Platt saw some pretty horrific things in those Asian mountains.  He saw urgent physical needs.  50% of kids were dying of preventable diseases before their eighth birthday, with many not making it to their first.  He saw infection eating a man’s face that could have easily been treated with proper medicine.  He saw very young girls being taken from their villages, trafficked for sex, never to see their families again.  In the midst of all the physical pain and need, the greater reality was obvious: these people had never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They were headed to an eternal hell. Their greatest need was clearly spiritual.

So, after seeing urgent physical and spiritual needs like never before, Platt asks the question, “If you were in their shoes, how would you want someone across the world to live?  Go and live that way.”  Take time to pray about what this could mean for you.  I don’t know how it may play out in your life.  I’m not sure what it may mean for mine.  Of course, physical and spiritual needs are not only found in the Himalayas.  It won’t take much time to find both in your own neighborhood.  How would you want someone else to live if you were in their shoes?  It sounds to me like Platt is pushing us into the Golden Rule teaching of Jesus.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”  (Matthew 7:12)

Be The Change

How different the world would look if we decided to live this way!  Picture your face deteriorating because of a lack of common medicine.  Imagine losing your five-year-old boy due to unclean water and diarrhea.  Picture yourself as a young girl being taken away from your family and forced into a life-long slavery.  Even worse, imagine living in a remote village that has no current way of hearing about Jesus.  What would you wish that others would do for you in situations like these?  Platt, and Jesus, are challenging us to live that way for the ones who really are currently living amidst these physical and spiritual needs.

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