February 18, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.”—1 Corinthians 16:1–4 (NIV)
Do you tithe regularly? Have you ever wondered where the practice comes from? While it certainly is put into practice in the Old Testament, this is one of the New Testament practices of what we would consider today to be a “special offering.” Think about a unique giving opportunity your church provides, whether for a ministry partnership or to expand specific work in your community.
In this passage, Paul is writing to the Church of Corinth and requesting they collect an offering to help support their fellow Christians in Jerusalem. During this time, that group of believers faced extreme persecution for their beliefs and poverty. Paul’s goal was to have Corinth show love and care for their brothers and sisters in a tangible way, as he’s been talking about throughout this entire letter.
He provides clear instructions to them on how this offering should be obtained. He asks them to set aside a certain amount each week until it’s time to send the collection. This was not supposed to be a rushed, last-minute thing. He wanted them to be intentional for a period of time. He was teaching them long-standing sacrifice for the care of others. It’s similar to how you might view sponsoring a child abroad. Making a make a one-time donation takes little thought. In contrast, sending a scheduled payment over a period of time allows you to consistently care for people and think of them beyond your one-time gift. It sparks prayer and love for those in need.
Paul is also adamant about not allowing himself to take the funds they collect. He most likely does this so his integrity for the request isn’t questioned. How easy would it be for someone to accuse him of misusing the funds if he were to collect the money he requested? By having the Church of Corinth appoint a carrier, he’s building accountability into the process of caring for the people he’s advocating for and allowing his ministry to live above reproach.
So, how can we translate this into our modern-day life? It can be as simple as applying Paul’s teaching here to how we choose to give. Make it intentional. At the end of the day, the Lord can use anyone to help another person, but why not you? If God is trying to use you, wouldn’t that be something you’d want to take seriously and apply intentional thought behind? Generosity is an act of worship, one that should draw you closer to Jesus and give you a glimpse into how He approaches us daily.
Pause: When you give, do you give with intention? When was the last time you made a true and consistent sacrifice for another person?
Practice: Take a moment to pray before you send your tithes or gifts. Ask God to not only use what you’re giving for His good, but to allow it to change you as well.
Pray: Lord, thank You for Your provision. All that I have is a gift from You. I pray that as I give on Your behalf that it would not only be used for Your divine plan, but that You would allow it to draw me closer to You. Amen.
Kristen Hollis has served in the Communications Team of Calvary since 2020 as a Senior Copywriter and Editor. She contributes and edits content for Calvary’s digital and promotional initiatives. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Kristen and her husband Zachary enjoy all things musical theatre, vinyl hunting, and having the opportunity to serve Calvary on staff while utilizing their talents.