I’M ON MY WAY TO SEE YOU!
God, give me the courage to stand firm in the faith and grant me your grace when I doubt. Thank you for loving me always.
Read 1 CORINTHIANS 16:1-12
The Collection for the Lord’s People
16 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.
5 After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
10 When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11 No one, then, should treat him with contempt. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.
12 Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat preparations do you make when you’re going to visit someone?
For the first time, the first day of the week (Sunday) is mentioned as the day Christians gather for worship (v 2). Paul instructs the community of believers to give every week when they worship together, according to their income (v 2). This was important for a church like Corinth, divided along lines of rich and poor. Paul’s words demonstrate the unity of the church: rich and poor alike are to give; neither are there to be divisions of Jew and Gentile – the Gentile church in Corinth supports the Jewish church in Jerusalem (v 3). The word used for ‘gift’ in verse 3 indicates that giving is a ‘grace’. The two local churches are united in that they both receive grace from Jesus, and give out of that grace.
Paul then explains his travel plans (vs 5-9). Travel was hard and slow, especially in winter. Staying in Ephesus until Pentecost meant that Paul would eventually reach Corinth before winter (vs 6,8). Notice that all of Paul’s plans depend on the Lord’s will (v 7). There is a balance between having a plan and still being dependent on the Lord. Meanwhile, his fellow workers, Timothy and Apollos, continue ‘the work of the Lord’ (vs 10-12). What do we learn from these verses about how we might support our fellow workers in the gospel today?
What things can you be doing in your own neighborhood to see churches different from yours united in the grace of Jesus?
Lord Jesus, you brought warmth and love to those who needed it. Help me to be intentional in this regard, showing kindness and love to those around me.
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