Summary: Paul teaches all of us Christians about the importance of giving offerings to God’s people this includes finances, hospitality, recognition and love.
“Thoughts on Offerings”
I Cor. 16 pt 16
Opening Illustration: “Dangerous Sacrifice”: What it means to go above what is required of us.
Interview with Rick and Kay Warren – They communicate the message about being a doer of the Word of God and being willing to sacrifice for others in the world.
Video from You tube- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zQYA6OgyuM
Thesis: Paul teaches all of us Christians about the importance of giving offerings to God’s people this includes finances, hospitality, recognition and love.
Scripture Text: I Cor. 16
1Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2On 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. 3Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.
5After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. 6Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
10If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11No one, then, should refuse to accept him. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.
12Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.
13Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14Do everything in love.
15You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, 16to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it. 17I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.
19The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.
22If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!
23The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.
I find this last chapter of 1 Corinthians very interesting and riveting. Paul is telling the Corinthian church and other church people to set aside at the beginning of each week a offering for other people in the Body of Christ. In other words he is telling all of us that we need to be intentional about giving offerings to others within the kingdom of God. Paul then moves in another area where we should give offerings and he tells us that we need accept others who labor in Lord. He tells this church that they are to offer their service to these other workers and they are to be hospitable to them. Paul then addresses another area where we all need to be giving offerings. He tells them to give recognition and respect to those who are leading them. He then instructs them that they are also to give an offering of love to everything they do.
When I look at the word offering this is what I know about it – it means to give above and beyond in the financial realm - the tithe. It means go further then what is required of me. It means being intentional about going the extra mile for God, for His people, for His workers, and for His leaders within the Body of Christ. When I looked the word “offerings” in some Bible dictionaries it was equated with word “sacrifice!” This word means I am willing to go above and beyond the normal and move into the realm of being a living sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.