Feb 24, 2021
The church in Jerusalem sent out Barnabas, the encourager to help new churches in the regions outside of Jerusalem. As the church in Antioch began to grow and as more Gentiles joined the church, Barnabas sent for Paul to help with the teaching. These new believers needed to learn about the faith. Meanwhile, times got difficult for the Christians in Jerusalem because of a famine. So the believers in this newer church made up of Jews and Gentiles decided to send a financial contribution back to Jerusalem to help the believers there.
Your bible probably translates the word as "relief," or as "send relief." Most do. But the Greek word used here is a form of the same word translated serve or minister. They sent a gift back to Jerusalem to minister to the believers in that region. They made a donation to serve their brothers and sisters.
How has your generosity been during the pandemic? Do you think of how our gifts serve others? Are you making the same contribution to your church or to ministries that you were making before the pandemic? Do you send money places where you haven't been?
Today, let's be generous. Let's remember that Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45). And Jesus used the same Greek word translated relief in this verse. Are you being called to relieve someone's burden? Is God reminding you to give out of your plenty? Let's be generous today and expect Jesus to make a difference.