Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 8-9; 1 Corinthians 16
Paul starts this passage with an emphasis on Sunday worship and specifically about the worship of giving. It is clear that the emphasis for meeting on the first day of the week was the New Testament model, and that in that time of worship there was to be giving. God knows that the manifestation of our heart is declared through our philosophy of giving. Jesus said it this way, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” See how a person spends their money and you will have a clear picture of their priorities and passions. It is interesting to note that everyone is included in this exhortation. “…upon the first day of the week, let every one of you…” We are all stewards of what God has entrusted to us. It does not matter how much we are entrusted with or how little; it matters that we are good stewards of it and that we give according to what God commands. It seems to put a priority on weekly giving. Do not let it accumulate or build up but rather give weekly as you meet on the first day of the week. Sunday giving appears to be a mandated element of worship, part of the duty of a New Testament Christian offering up “spiritual sacrifices” to God (1 Peter 2:5).
Paul was no stranger to opposition. However, with the opposition, Paul always saw opportunity! Verse nine says, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” This Corinthian church had many problems for which they had wrote to Paul concerning. Paul had passionately, pointedly, and patiently confronted every issue and addressed them from the Word of God. Paul states that he is going to stay in Ephesus where there is great opposition to the gospel. Ephesus was known for its idolatry, pagan practices, and occultism. Yet Paul is excited about the possibilities for the gospel to penetrate the darkness and bring light to lost people. Paul ends this passage with some direct statements to this Corinthian church: (1) Watch ye – be sober and vigilant so that you are not taken by surprise or blind-sided. (2) Stand fast in the faith – know what God expects of you and faithfully obey him. (3) Quit you like men – act like a man. Don’t blame someone else for your mistakes, own your responsibilities and do them, and model leadership for those who follow. (4) Be strong – be someone that can be depended upon, counted on, and fearless. (5) Let everything be done with charity – learn to sacrifice your own desires in meeting the needs of those around you with no expectation of anything in return.
• Lord, please help me to never forget that all that I have belongs to you. Help me to be a faithful steward of that which you have entrusted to me.
• Lord, please help me to place the same emphasis and priority on the local church that you do. Help me to truly worship you in every avenue of worship that you have designed.
• Lord, please help me to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Help me to stand fast in the midst of opposition, understanding that the light shines brightest in the darkness. Help me to always be a testimony of your love and holiness.