By Brooke Holt
“Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.” - 1 Corinthians 16:1-4
As Paul is wrapping up his first letter to the Corinthians, he gives important last instructions. When they meet, this is what they are to do and when to do it. First of all, they are to meet together on that first day, meaning Sunday. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death, a Sunday, so his people gather together on that day to worship him.
In our secularized day, the Lord’s Day has been lost or forsaken. Kids have sporting events, parents are tired, and the pandemic has led us to worshipping on a screen. There is no condemnation in these words; however, there is the call to consider the value that you place on the Lord’s Day. Since the formation of God’s people, there has always been a designated day to come together as God’s people to worship him, to lift hearts and minds together, and to bring the offerings and sacrifices of God’s grateful people. For the Jews, that day was Saturday. With the resurrection of Jesus, the day became Sunday for the Church.
While I will not contend whether you must worship corporately on Sunday, I will assert that Paul was instructing the Corinthians (and us) to meet together for worship and to recognize that God is fully worthy of our sacrifice of time, finances, and praise. It is all about the adoration of our hearts and the expression of that love and adoration. Youth sports are good, yet if they take priority in our schedules and hearts, they become idols. The same is true for work, rest, and anything else that would keep you from coming to church on Sundays.
To keep checking the heart of God’s people, Paul reminded them not just to come but to come with offerings that would be sent to those in Jerusalem. The mother church there was under great persecution and suffering from financial hardship due to their faith. As fellow Christians, God’s people were to give from their prosperity to build the church.
Gather together to worship, gather together to encourage one another, and gather together to bring offerings for the larger Church. Simple instructions that we are called to adhere to today.
How is your heart today? What would Paul want to say to you about your commitment to the Lord’s Day and the offerings you bring? More importantly, what would God want you to know about these things? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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