Summary: In this passage, Paul answers a question the Corinthian believers had asked about a collection he was taking for the poor and then shares his personal travel plans. The Corinthians had apparently heard from the Galatian churches that he was taking an offe
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
On the way home from church the father was complaining, "That church service, the sermon was too long, the music was too loud and the building was too hot." His son in the back seat replied, "I don’’t know, Dad, I thought it was a pretty good show for a buck." (Source unknown).
In this passage, Paul answers a question the Corinthian believers had asked about a collection he was taking for the poor and then shares his personal travel plans. The Corinthians had apparently heard from the Galatian churches that he was taking an offering for the poor in Jerusalem. How we handle our finances is often a good measure of our relationship with the Lord. In answering their question about money, Paul gives some important principles on giving (vv. 1-4):
1. Offerings need to be made regularly, “Upon the first day of the week” (vv. 1-2).
2. Every person needs to give, whether rich or poor (v. 2). Jesus commanded in Mt. 10:8, “Freely you have received, freely give.”
3. Giving is to be proportionate, not just a little (v. 2).
4. The money needs to be handled honestly (vv. 3-4). It is unfortunate that many Christian ministries lose their testimony because they mismanage funds.
Paul was as careful in his use of time as he was in his use of money. Someone has said that killing time is the chief occupation of modern society. The apostle shares his travel plans so he can take advantage of every opportunity (vv. 5-9). He was in Ephesus when he wrote this letter. From there he planned to travel to Macedonia for a time of ministry, being in Corinth during the winter, when it would be difficult to travel. Then he was to go to Judea to make the collection. However, because of various circumstances, his plans had to be revised at least twice and he ended up not spending as much time in Corinth as he had hoped or as they had expected.
I need to ask God each day what opportunities He is giving to me. Instead of complaining about the obstacles I have, I need to take advantage of the opportunities and leave the results with the Lord.