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My goal in preaching this series of messages About the Collection is to help you think biblically about your financial stewardship with respect to giving to the Lord. I want you to consider thoughtfully and prayerfully your giving pattern in general and to the Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church in particular.
As we begin today, let us review what we covered last week.
I. The Purpose of Giving (16:1)
Last week we saw that the purpose of giving as stated in verse 1 is “for God’s people,” that is, for the church. The church is to fund its own ministry and needs. More specifically, as you study Scripture you discover that all giving falls essentially into two categories: to support the ministry of the Word and to support the ministry of mercy.
Let’s continue to look at principles “about the collection.”
II. The Period of Giving (16:2a)
Second, note the period of giving.
Paul says in verse 2a: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
Paul did not want to take up a collection when he arrived at Corinth. He wanted a collection to be taken each Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, i.e. on Sunday.
A. Weekly Stewardship
Now some people may say, “Well, I wait until the end of the year, and then I write out one, big check.”
But that’s not what God wants. Why? Because you are only dealing with the stewardship of your money once a year.
No, God wants you to deal with the stewardship of your money every week.
God wants to use you in marvelous ways. But until you’re dealing every day, and every week, with the reality that every dollar you have is a stewardship entrusted to you by God, then you haven’t come to grips with what Paul is saying here.
Why is that we are to give each week rather than sporadically? Because God wants you to deal with the reality of financial stewardship moment by moment.
B. Weekly Sensitivity
Some of you might say, “I only get paid once a month. Does that mean I have to put a check in every week and sort of spread it out?” No, I don’t want you to be legalistic about it.
Paul is implying that when you come to worship God, you worship him properly and fellowship with his people well when you have dealt with the stewardship of your finances.
Now if you get paid once a month and you give once a month, you still need to be sensitive on those weeks when you do not give. It’s not just the money you give that concerns God. It’s how you use all the money that has been entrusted to you as a stewardship that concerns God.
III. The Participants in Giving (16:2b)
Third, note the participants in giving.
Paul says in verse 2b: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
The phrase “each one of you” means that no-one is exempt. Some may say, “Well, I can’t give money, so I’ll give my talent instead,” or, “I give my money to other organizations.”
No, “each one of you” is to give systematically, week in and week out.
A. The Principle
Some may say, “I have
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