Friday, November 11, 2011

2 Corinthians 8

Every week there is a Food Pantry that operates Thursdays and Fridays just down the street from me, and literally walking distance from campus. Now how on earth I did not hear about it until my fourth year of college, I have no idea. It is much of the reason while I am still in Auburn. I took a Hunger studies class and we were required to have volunteer hours around the area at local food banks or something of the sort {Praise the LORD for this}. Over a year later, I am so honored to say these people have changed my life. Cliche, I know - but it's just simply the truth. The ladies that run the Food Pantry are more than an inspiration, they understand the Gospel, and live it. Don't let their sweet demeanors fool you, they're a powerful bunch. I realized through them and through this service opportunity that this vicious poverty cycle is going to continue until people start standing in the gap, educating them on food, hunger, disease, and helping them learn how to move out of their circumstances. I think of that old Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." That is where the Lord quickly halted "my plans" {which are rather hilarious now} and said, "Taylor, stand in the gap." However, I am not sure how that looks -- I'm in graduate school learning to teach these things, and so thankful for it. The Lord will use me however He chooses, but I say yes to what that however is.

But I learn more from the people then I could ever offer them.

the ladies (and there's many more). what haven't I learned from them?

I would venture to say he is one of the sweetest people I know. grace & compassion flow from him.

 My main man, front & center. I would be lying if I said he wasn't the highlight of most of my weeks. Truly hilarious and boy, does he have jokes.
They are 2 Corinthians 8: 1-13 to me.
"Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians.

 5-7This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives. That's what prompted us to ask Titus to bring the relief offering to your attention, so that what was so well begun could be finished up. You do so well in so many things—you trust God, you're articulate, you're insightful, you're passionate, you love us—now, do your best in this, too.

 8-9I'm not trying to order you around against your will. But by bringing in the Macedonians' enthusiasm as a stimulus to your love, I am hoping to bring the best out of you. You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich.

So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't. The heart regulates the hands. This isn't so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you're shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written,

   Nothing left over to the one with the most,
   Nothing lacking to the one with the least.

{Message version}

How sweet is the body of Christ, working together like it says in 2 Corinthians 8?! 

No comments:

Post a Comment