It’s a Test for the Church
The Early Church Test – Part 1
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:13-18
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 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.
Poverty is not just a test for the modern day church; it was a test for the very first New Testament churches. The main work of the church was and is to spread the Good News of the gospel, but the question of how God’s people treat the poor has always been a challenge. In our scripture for today the Apostle Paul presented a giving plan to the Corinthian church. He wanted them to systematically take a compassionate ministry offering each week. It was to be saved until he came to visit them. Upon the apostle’s next visit, he would help arrange how to get the money to those struggling financially.
The Corinthian church was in a season of rest from the persecution against the church of Jesus Christ. However, the Jerusalem saints had lost almost everything because of that persecution. Possessions were confiscated and jobs were lost for those who stood faithful to Jesus. The Jerusalem saints were suffering, trying to survive the cruel treatment they had endured. Many of those who now resided in Corinth probably ran for their lives from Jerusalem during the worst days of persecution.
We get a glimpse of the heart of the early church in these verses. It was the nature of the church to have compassion on those that were poor, especially their brothers and sisters in the Lord. The Corinthians did take action. (Continued)
Father, put your heart in me! Help me to love what you love and hate what
you hate. May I take action to help the poor around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.