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Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019.01.03 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Corinthians 16:1-12

Questions for Littles: For what does the apostle want the Corinthian church to collect (v1)? Who else is collecting for the saints? On which day of the week are each of them to contribute (v2)? What will this mean that they will not have to do when the apostle Paul comes? How does he say for the collected money to go to Jerusalem (v3)? Whom does he trust to make the decision for whether he would take the collection too (v4)? Where would Paul pass through before coming to them (v5)? How quick would his visit with them be (v6-7)? But where is he staying for now (v8)? Until when? What two factors mean that he will stay in Ephesus for a while (v9)? Whom does he tell the Corinthians to treat well (v10)? Why? Where does Paul expect Timothy to end up (v11)? Whom did Paul want to send to Corinth (v12)? Why isn’t he there yet?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we see some of the means that the Lord uses to take care of His people.

One, vv1-2, the Lord uses the collections on the Lord’s Day to take care of His people—not just in our own congregation, but in taking care of others. The saints in Corinth and Galatia were very Gentile. The saints in Jerusalem were very Jewish. But on Lord’s Days, these saints were all connected by the Lord’s instruction for collection for one another.

Another means that the Lord uses to take care of His people is wisdom and godliness, vv3-4. Paul is humble and careful with the handling of money. He doesn’t throw his weight around. He doesn’t carry the money himself. He doesn’t even pick who will carry the money. He leaves that entirely to the people who are contributing—including whether or not he even goes along! Rather than being proud and careless, apostolic faith is humble and careful.

A third means that the Lord uses to take care of His people is hospitality and fellowship, v5-12. Whether it’s Paul with the Ephesians, or Paul with the Corinthians, or Timothy on his way to the Ephesians, the Lord has ordained for His ministering servants to be taken care of by His saints.

Finally, the Lord uses our duty to care for us. That sounds odd, but we can see it in v9. Paul knew what path to take: the one where there was much ministry to be done, and much opposition to be overcome. This is very different than what many believers in our day consider “an open door.” They usually mean the easiest way, the path of least resistance. But the path of most service is usually easier to identify, though it be more difficult to navigate. One of the ways that God takes care of us is by making the right path plain upon the principle of duty.
How does God supply your earthly needs? How is He using you to supply others?
Suggested songs: ARP4 “Answer When I Call” or TPH174 “The Ten Commandments”

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