As Paul writes to the Corinthian church, he encourages them to give to the starving saints in Jerusalem. Israel was experiencing famine at this time. Paul was calling on the Greek churches to help them.
His words to the church should inspire us to adopt a whole new mindset concerning our missions giving.
Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.
1 Corinthians 16:1-4
The first thing that I see is that Paul’s exhortation was not something special for the Corinthian church. He had prescribed this manner of giving for all the churches under his ministry. In his command, I see four major truths associated with missions giving.
Missions giving is for everyone. At least with these gentile churches, they met the first day of every week. It was during this meeting that EVERYONE was to seek God and give according to how they were prospering.
Please note that this collection was not the tithe that went to the upkeep of the local church. This was a special collection to be stored up for when it would be released to the specified missions project.
This is not just an exhortation for the well to do. It’s for everyone, rich and poor alike. God doesn’t look at the size of the gift, but the condition of the heart. We give because we want to be a blessing to someone else.
How much you give is based upon how thankful you are. This goes right along with what I have been saying. It’s not about the quantity of the gift.
I have to look at my life and take inventory. How has the Lord been blessing me? Am I thankful for His blessing? Do I want to be a blessing to others?
The fact is that when you pass on a blessing to others, you’re making room for a blessing in your life. There are those who say that it’s wrong for me to teach this. “We should give with no thought of receiving a blessing.” If that’s the case, then Jesus is wrong, because He was the first one to tell us this truth (Luke 6:38).
Don’t simply send your missions giving, take it personally. This is one of those areas where I think that the modern church has missed it. We collect money for missions and then send out a check every month. It’s neat, clean, and detached.
According to Paul, there should be a missions team in each church that goes to visit the missionaries. They are the representatives of the church on the mission field. American Christians would gain a whole new perspective if they could see what was required to serve God in other parts of the world.
Missions giving is an act of grace. When we give to missions, we’re an extension of the arms of Christ. We’re giving more than just money, especially if we bring it personally.
We’re giving love, encouragement, and fellowship to those who are in need of it the most. In many cases, those in the field are away from family and friends for years at a time. You may be that taste of home that gives them the strength to continue victoriously.
Please take Paul’s message to heart. Be an active part of missions. Give what you can. Then, don’t let it end there, but trust God to bring you an opportunity to travel and visit a missionary. It will be one of the best experiences of your life.
Question: How have you involved yourself in missions?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi