1 Corinthians 16:1-12
16 Now I want to deal with the offering of money for the Lord’s people. Do what I told the churches in Galatia to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you should put some money away. The amount should be in keeping with how much money you make. Save the money so that you won’t have to take up an offering when I come. 3 When I arrive, I will send some people with your gift to Jerusalem. They will be people you consider to be good. And I will give them letters that explain who they are. 4 If it seems good for me to go also, they will go with me. 5 After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you. I will only be passing through Macedonia. 6 But I might stay with you for a while. I might even spend the winter. Then you can help me on my journey everywhere I go. 7 I don’t want to see you now while I am just passing through. Instead, I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord allows it. 8 But I will stay at Ephesus until the day of Pentecost. 9 A door has opened wide for me to do some good work here. There are many people who oppose me. 10 Timothy will visit you. Make sure he has nothing to worry about while he is with you. He is doing the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11 No one should treat him badly. Send him safely on his way so he can return to me. I’m expecting him to come back along with the others. 12 I want to say something about our brother Apollos. I tried my best to get him to go to you with the others. But he didn’t want to go right now. He will go when he can.
When reading this passage, the verses that stand out to me most are vs 5-9. Paul is submissive to God’s call and demonstrates an incredible willingness to do what is asked of him. In these verses, Paul directly goes to the people he is ministering to and gives time to them.
I am challenged and encouraged by the proactive nature of Paul and the way that God used him. Paul was intentional and “made plans” (vs 5) to spread the gospel and build up the church. He submitted his plans to God and held them lightly, as he said in verse 7, “if the Lord will let me”. And in response to Paul’s faithfulness and obedience, God opened doors to his ministry (vs 9).
God, I lay myself before You today and ask that You would fill me with fresh faith to do Your work. Please help me to be intentional and proactive in my ministry. I choose to submit all these plans to You. And as a result, may You open doors for opportunity to spread Your Word to those around me. In Jesus’ name.
Written by Laura Samperi