1 Corinthians 16

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.

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10 months ago

There is such an exposure of love that is bonding the body of Christ even though it is separated in proximity. It is apparent in the intentional preparation and caring for of generosity in giving. There is the encouragement of developing leadership with a sense that we’re all in service to the same Master, deferring to His will imparted through all that are faithful. There is this practical application of the understanding that loving Him is loving each other, not feeling isolated and independent, but completely reliant on others, who, while also imperfect in their pursuit of Christ, are yet essential in fulfilling His greater purpose. This sense of unity and vibrant passion for each other is surely what has strengthened and kept the body joined together through the ages. If left to the whims of the offended and disinterested in the needs of others, the body would have surely dismembered and disintegrated long ago. If anyone could have been despondent with the church and its relational challenges it would have been the man with most education and revelation. And yet Paul was the most accessible and faithful in his selfless devotion to all parts of the body. Love, and not superior understanding or insight, will always be the identifying characteristic of the true follower of Christ.

Insistence on connection over dissension will reflect the heart of the One who laid down His perfection and rejection for the coming together of parts that should have been disqualified and discarded. Love will cover the obvious failures to insure the fulfillment of Jesus’ passion for unity. This bond will be where the growth and perfection are enabled, while the divisive and elite fall to the side.

10 months ago

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