The Collection for the Saints, v1-12
God wants every Christian in every congregation to participate on Sunday. The amount the individual Christian contributes should be based on the amount he/she has prospered. How we understand our prosperity should be one of the factors that determines how much we give. This principle God shows through Paul, actually does demand our honesty before God, because no one wants to be ignorant of their profit or loss. Other factors God mandates in our contribution is firstly our Purpose and secondly our Cheerfulness, 2 Cor. 9:7. What is our purpose in our heart when we give? Whatever your reason for giving, should be a motivating force behind the amount. Intentional giving is a necessity for us, we should never give to God in a lackadaisical or apathetic way. Lets do the math and pay attention to our profit or loss in our bank account and purpose in our heart a certain amount! When we do this, it can help us feel good about our giving. We are not addressing tithing a particular percentage, but we are teaching that we should commit to a particular amount. Cheerfulness is a strong word. In the Greek it is Hilaros, the origin of our English, hilarious. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than receive, Acts 20:35. God wants us to be happy with the amount we give. Do we give to the extent that it makes our hearts feel joyful? If we do, that is called liberal and gracious giving, 1st Cor. 16:3, 2nd Cor. 8:1-5, 9:13.
Devotion means to be in… v13-18
Constant vigilance. For what are we to look for? Each other’s welfare.
Remain firmly planted. In what? The truth, 2Ths. 2:15.
Be brave. Why? For the Devil hunts us as prey. Be a Barnabas, Ac. 11:24.
Be strengthened. By who? The comfort of God, 2Cor. 1:4-7.
Be as addicted as the family of Stephanas. Follow your leaders in service.
Submit to each other in Teamwork. Why? To give God the glory.
Acknowledge your leaders to the extent that you get to know them well.
Greetings between Christians in the church should be warm and sincere. Everyone has barriers and reservations in revealing themselves to each other, but those fears should not stop us from genuinely greeting one another, especially as we assemble to worship as a congregation. Why should our greeting be so intense? Because it is “in the Lord”, v19. God has given us a relationship in His Spirit, our tie together is holy and spiritual, therefore when we physically meet each other, we should truly recognize this unity in a sincere way. What is this way? In Corinth during the 1 century, it was actually kissing on the cheek, but not in Corinth today. Modern Greece is different now, and everyone recognizes warm and sincere greetings as hugs. However, in France today, they still do kiss each other’s cheeks. There may be variations in cultures around the world, but whatever our societies acceptance of genuine sincerity is, is exactly what we should be showing in the context of God’s holiness that we share in, Rom. 16:16. When Paul wrote letters to Christians and met with Christians, he always invoked emotions! 1Cor. 16:24, Titus 3:15, 2Pet. 1:7-8, 22, Heb. 13:1, Rom. 12:10. Cold austerity is not Christian. We should have more in our greeting, then just frank friendliness. If a handshake is a genuinely warm and sincere greeting, then make it loving, holy and firm! Maranatha is a word used to show our faith in the fact that all wrongs will be made right when Jesus comes again. Lovers win, the unloving lose!