TEXT: Matthew 5:43-48, Jeremiah 32:27, John 3:16
National development is the ability of a country to improve the social welfare of the people e.g by providing social amenities like quality education, portable water, transportation, medical care. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Love is the key to the solution of the problems of the world.” while Mahatma Gandhi also said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world”. A large percentage of us have at one time or the other had the dream of changing the world and making it a better place. But now, are you close to achieving that yet?
Our emphasis today in love and national development will be on economic development (1 Sam 17:25-45), particularly on the following issues
START SMALL (Zech 4:10, Job 8:7): You don’t have to take on everything at once, in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start small and just take the first steps towards economic empowerment. This was the secret of Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, the founder of micro finance and micro lending. Before he retired, He helped thousands of poor people to obtain business loans without collateral. He started with just $27. Yunus surveyed people in his community about their needs and was shocked to learn that he could assist 42 people by lending just $27 of his own money.
His first project was a success and he continued to build on it, finally creating Grameen Bank. By 1997, Grameen Bank had issued US$6.38 billion to 7.4 million borrowers, empowering others to build businesses and improve their own situations. Yunus went on to successfully lead several other initiatives to help the poor, starting small each time.
What Sam Walton started small with as a single discount store and the simple idea of selling more for less, has grown over the last 50 years into the largest retailing outlet in the world. Each week, over 260 million customers and members visit Walmart’s 11,695 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With a fiscal year 2017 revenue of $485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide and continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunities.
Sam says it’s all part of Walmart’s unwavering commitment to creating opportunities and bringing value to customers and communities around the world. Sam opened the first Walmart in 1962 at the age of 44 in Rogers, Arkansas. “If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone… we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life”, he said, “Today, “saving people money so they can live better” is the driving force behind everything we do”.
What small action can you take today? Take it! Small actions can build on each other but you need to take that first step.
BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR (Luke 10:25-37): You don’t have to travel the world or live in the most developed nations to impact. You actually have the greatest knowledge and influence in your own backyard. We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. Mother Theresa once said, “The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty”. This is exemplified in the mission statements of global companies such as: Twitter (To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers), Facebook (to give people the power to build communities and bring the world closer together).
Everyone deserves to be loved, no matter the faith, creed, colour, ethnicity. Whether Fulani or Yoruba or Ibo, let there be love.