Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 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. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
Paul had a plan. He was going to come visit his spiritual children in the Corinthian church. And when he came, there was a certain work he wanted to have already done.
Churches throughout the Roman world were collecting money for the saints and Paul sent very clear notice to the Corinthian church that they were not to be the exception.
Now, I don't know about you, but most people don't like to hear their pastor preach about money. How would they like it, then, if their pastor straight up ordered them to give?
I think most people would say, Dude, hands off my money. It's my money!
Really? If that's your response, then I have to say that your passions and priorities just got exposed. In fact, no matter how you responded, it shows me where your heart really lies. First of all, let's talk about your passions. Is your passion for God greater than your passion for money? Because if it is, then when the Word of God says to give, you immediately say okay. There's no wishy-washy attitude about it, no grumbling or complaining, no griping about how much this whole Christianity and church thing costs you.
Listen-this Christianity and church thing cost Jesus His life, and it had better cost you yours. Your tithes declare who your God is. Your offerings show that your heart is starting to look like God's, generous and full of love so that it's motivated to do something about people in need. If this isn't where your passion is, then I question whether Jesus really is your God; like, maybe money has taken His throne in your life.
Second, what priority does this take in your life? Paul addressed this and said, Set the money aside on the first day of the week. If it isn't set apart, then so often it just gets spent.
Set apart or spent, those are our choices. And while it is about our money, it's about more than that. Is your life set apart, or is it spent? Does God get your first and best, or your last and leftovers?
Where is God in your passions and priorities today?
Prayer Father God,
You have given Your everything for me and I can do no less for You. My money is Yours, and my life is Yours. Please lead me and guide me! Show me how You want me to spend, give, and set apart my money and my life!