A brother in the Lord recently shared a story with me that encouraged my heart. He told me of a remote village in South Asia where a small number of Christians live. Since the pandemic hit and the subsequent restrictions were enacted, the threat of starvation for the entire village has been immanent. Humanitarian aid and relief have come, supplying food to the village. However, food was withheld from the Christians who refused to forsake Jesus and convert to Islam. Through God’s providence, local churches in the West were made aware of the urgent need of their South Asian brothers and sisters. And by God’s grace, relief sent from saints in the West was actually delivered to the saints in the village. Afterwards, the leaders of the majority Muslim village approached the Christians, asking them where this relief came from. Perplexed as to why Christians in the West would take food off of their table to put food on the tables of people they had never met, they asked more questions. Eventually, the leaders and the entire village turned to Jesus. What a picture God’s grace working through generosity!
That is what our memory verse is all about. In his letter, Paul is asking the saints in Corinth to send aid to their poverty-stricken brethren in Jerusalem. And through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul doesn’t just ask for money, he proclaims Christ. He proclaims Christ, so that the church might look to the radical generosity of our Savior and be changed by it. Because in the proclamation of this Gospel, the greedy, idolatrous and other rocky places of our hearts are chipped away, and we are changed to be more like our generous King.
This week, I want us to memorize this verse, but far more, I want us to consider the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and be changed as we ponder His radical generosity in the gospel.