1 Corinthians 16
1 Corinthians 16:1-4-Paul tells the church that they are taking up a financial collection for the people in Jerusalem (where there is a famine). He gives them the same directions that he gave the churches in Galatia. This is a good pattern for all churches to follow. He directs them to put money aside on the first day of the week so that it will be available when he arrives. He doesn’t want anyone to be embarrassed when he gets there because they have not been saving money for this important offering. This way, they will not have to try and gather it together at the last moment and not be able to give as much. Paul explains that they will make the choice concerning who will deliver the offering to the church in Jerusalem and that a letter will accompany them...probably stating the intention and amount of the offering. He is careful to make sure that there be no opportunity for anyone to question the integrity of what they were doing, or to have doubts that the full amount had been delivered. He wants everything to be done with honesty and to be above suspicion.
1 Corinthians 16:5-9-Paul tells them of his travel plans and when he expects to arrive there. He had spent around 18 months in Corinth on his second missionary journey and probably developed some close friendships. So, it is his intention to stay in Corinth again on this trip and not just pass by quickly. He is writing from Ephesus and tells them that he may spend the winter with them.
1 Corinthians 16:10-18-Paul concludes his letter by mentioning several men who are in positions of leadership and encouraging the Corinthians to respect them. Evidently, Paul is expecting Timothy to pass through Corinth on a trip to meet up with him. Paul tells the church at Corinth to watch out for him so that he will have no need to be “afraid”, or “despised”. There were people who opposed Paul’s work and those who associated with him. Paul also encouraged Apollos to go to Corinth, but he decided to do so at a later time. Again, Paul encourages the church in Corinth to stand strong against those who would turn away from the Gospel message. Paul now thanks the church for sending several men with supplies that he badly needed.
1 Corinthians 16:19-24-Paul sends a greeting from the church where he is currently ministering in Asia...and from Aquila and Prisca.
Prayer: Lord, sometimes it can be difficult...even in the midst of a place of active service (:9). Help me as I seek to honor those people who give leadership to Your church, as Paul does, here. Bless them in their efforts, give them Your strength and wisdom, and bring other believers alongside of them for encouragement.