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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Planned Giving (1 Corinthians 16:2)

"On the first day of the week, each 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."

Less than 3% of Evangelical Christians tithe.

Money has a way of sticking to our hands and to our hearts. Jesus spoke about money frequently. He noticed the gifts of the rich and of the poor. He engaged numerous wealthy people: sadly, some walked away as the fingers of their heart clutched their money (the rich young ruler) while others opened their hearts and their wallets to the Lord Jesus in total abandon (Zaccheus). Further, Jesus states "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Luke 12:34). Therefore, I doubt that He has complete access to your heart until He has complete access to your finances.

Intentional giving says "I choose to be captured by God Himself rather than to be enslaved to the natural world where physical and bodily appetites rule, where money means independence and power."

Paul urges the Corinthian believers to save up to give, "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." They were to be intentional and generous givers, not to endowments, where when the market is down giving decreases, but to immediate needs.

Paul then would take the monies given to Jerusalem where they would be used in a cooperative effort and dispersed by the leaders to fund the missionary activities of field missionaries. Their local offerings impacted the entire world. The Corinthian believers, by their monetary gifts, would touch the lostness of the known world; their money would empower those to go where they themselves could not.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
1 Corinthians 15:35-16:24
  • How do the first and last Adam differ and why is there a need for a last Adam?
  • What change will take place in those who are alive at His coming? Those who are dead at His coming?
  • What accompanies the opening of "a great door for effective work"?
  • Who would be responsible for Timothy's needs while he is in Corinth?
  • What do each of the commands in the string of commands in 16:13,14 have in common?
Acts 20:1-6
  • List Paul's co-laborers in ministry. Can't you see why he spoke to the Corinthian believers about their offerings?
2 Corinthians 1:1-2:4
  • How does Paul describe God?
  • What does experiencing God during times of personal suffering enable you to do?
  • What does Paul teach about "the promises of God"? What does that mean for believers/you today?
  • What is God's seal of ownership? What does this tell you about God's commitment to you?
  • Describe Paul's relationship with the Corinthian believers.
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to show you where you are the most invested and to make you more aware of how you give/spend your money.