“On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, . . .” (1 Corinthians 16:2).
Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-4.
Jesus often taught on the subject of money. In His Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, . . . But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20). Brothers and sisters, what you give to the Lord will always bear dividends—here and now, and ultimately for all eternity.
At the end of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses the subject of giving. At first this seems a strange place to bring it up. He moves immediately from the triumph of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 to the triumph of the collection plate in 1 Corinthians 16. But when we understand that our giving is an extension of our faith in Christ, this placement begins to make sense. Because we believe Christ was raised from the dead, we also believe that one day we will be raised, too. And because we believe we will spend eternity with our Lord, we ought to deposit our treasure in heaven today. We do this by giving to the Lord and His work in our world.
Paul gave the Corinthians three timeless principles to guide them in their giving, which are helpful to us today as well. First, he said that our giving should be regular—not haphazard or when we feel like it but right on time, right on schedule, according to a plan. Second, he said giving should be done with a sense of personal responsibility. No one in Corinth was exempt. Rather, Paul said, “each one” should give (see 1 Corinthians 16:2). Paul didn’t want anyone to miss out on the blessing of giving—storing up treasure in heaven. Finally, he instructed that giving should be proportional to our income. Since everything we earn, everything we are given, comes from God, it’s only right that our giving be in keeping with our blessing.
Martin Luther once said, “There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the conversion of the mind, and the conversion of the purse.” In view of God’s amazing grace, let’s cheerfully give all that we can, led by the love of Christ. For we know that He who has provided us with such a hope and a future will also meet our needs today as we faithfully give.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your daily provision in my life. You are faithful and full of grace. Help me to cheerfully give in this life, remembering where my true treasure lies and longing to see more come to know the wonders of Your love. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.