Session 35

How can I make a difference in the world?

From 1 Corinthians: A 35-Day Devotional

Occasionally, in the midst of all the media’s doom and gloom, we hear a heartwarming story about radical love and generosity that touches our hearts and moves us to tears. Stories, like this one, go viral because they offer hope in a suffering world.  

These stories also surprise us because we’re naturally inclined to reserve love and hospitality for those closest to us. We often cling tightly to people, money, and belongings that we fear losing. It can be scary to give to and love people without knowing if they will love us back, or repay us. They may even reject us.

But as Paul reminds us in his closing thoughts to the Corinthians, following Jesus means embracing an open-handed, sacrificial love. Jesus was the perfect example of radical love and generosity, boldly reaching out to sinners, lepers, outcasts — those who could give nothing in return. 

Jesus gives us the courage to pursue acts of love, rather than waiting a feeling to motivate us.

As we walk with Jesus, we begin to understand that everything we have is a gift from God and belongs to God (James 1:17). We learn to trust in His sovereignty and ability to provide for us. And, He gives us the courage to pursue acts of love, rather than waiting a feeling to motivate us.

God loves us with radical love, and calls us to love others radically, too (1 John 3:16-18). Christian love requires action. Jesus tells us the world will know us by our love for one another (John 13:35). Love is demonstrated in acts of kindness, forgiveness, generosity and hospitality, especially for those can offer nothing in return.

Mother Teresa once said, "We can do no great things; only small things with great love." If each one of us does everything in love, we can and will make a huge difference in the world (1 Corinthians 16:14).  


  • Think of a time when someone helped you out or was generous to you. How did that impact you?  
  • When was the last time you showed someone radical love and generosity?
  • How can you be open-handed with your love, money, or belongings today?

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