1 Corinthians 16:1-24
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.
4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.
5 Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia).
6 And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go.
7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.
8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.
9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
10 And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.
11 Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.
12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brethren, but he was quite unwilling to come at this time; however, he will come when he has a convenient time.
13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
14 Let all that you do be done with love.
15 I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints—
16 that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.
17 I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied.
18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.
19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
20 All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 The salutation with my own hand—Paul’s.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
There is first a method of ensuring that the time doesn’t come for giving an offering without intentional preparation. He suggests setting aside at the beginning of each week and for an extended time ahead of the opportunity. Rather than not having a desired amount at the time of the offering’s reception, there can be joy in the giving of an amount that brings the heart fulfillment and joy. What a wonderful approach to giving above and beyond a normal amount.
He gives indication of where his travels will take him, letting them know that he will be with them for a period. But, he also provides insight to his approach to scheduling. Because of a “door of opportunity”, he chooses to remain in Ephesus for a while. There is a leading that has much to do with the reception of the gospel in hearts for transformation. His concern is never about the personal risks, as he indicates that this door includes much opposition. This is stated, though, with the implication that there will be success in spite of any obstacles that may arise.
He also gives insight into his passion for those he mentors, encouraging patience and understanding for Timothy, while mentioning others by name with a passion for their blessing and betterment. Always in his words there is revelation of the passion that drives his mission with imminent triumph – the care and concern for those he serves and joins together with in service.
How great is the power of blessing and speaking the words of life from the Father over those we’re bonded together with in ministry. It is this bonding that empowers and reflects the face and nature of the One who performs the work we’re committed to.
I’ve been reading, “In Search of Timothy,” and it is interesting to me that Paul mentions Timothy here to the Corinthians and encourages them to help him to not be in fear. He was watching over Timothy even as they weren’t together, that’s a precious thought.
Sometimes we forget that God’s anointed in the ministry are still people that need our prayers, concern and coverings. We should make way for their comings and goings in the spirit and be every interceding on their behalf.