Do you know the needs of those around you, or those far away? Paul was very aware and concerned about the needs of those near and far, and today’s passage gives us an example of how to respond. It was known throughout the churches that there was a famine in Jerusalem at the time Paul was addressing the Corinthians. He asked the Gentile churches to give to the Judean believers who were facing harder than usual economic times.
- When you know about need, how do you respond to this knowledge?
READ THE WORD: 1 CORINTHIANS 16:1-4 (ESV)
16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. 3 And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.
- When were the Corinthians told to collect things, and was this a one-time collection?
- Describe the way Paul asked these believers to give. Was it out of their surplus or their lack that he asked them to give?
- Do you think the support to the saints in need was optional? Why or why not?
- What kind of planning does it take in order to give regularly?
- What are some of the greatest needs that you know of in your community? Your city? The world? How can you step into these situations and help?
RESPOND TO GOD
With apostolic authority, Paul exhorted the Corinthians, as he had other churches as well, to use what God had given them to help relieve the needs of the saints. This was a call for all believers, Jew and Gentile, to come together and be a tangible representation of the gospel. As believers in Christ and followers of his, we too are called to use what God has given us to relieve the needs of others. This is a response to how Christ has relieved all of our needs through the cross. Do you know the needs of those around you?
- Pray that God would open your eyes to the needs around you and reveal ways you can help relieve those needs.