Sunday, October 14, 2018
Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.
The situation at the time was that believers from the churches in Jerusalem were struggling through a severe famine. They needed financial support. Paul solicited an offering for them, which was to be collected the next time he arrived, that would be taken to the saints in Jerusalem.
Money is always a sensitive subject, but notice how Paul discusses it. He is forthright – he came right out and said he was going to talk about the collection for these believers. He has a plan, and it is the same plan he told the churches in the region of Galatia. Make a habit of giving – set aside whatever amount of money one is able to afford. Do it each week on a Sunday, and have it ready so no one needs to make a last-minute appeal. This kind of giving is thoughtful, sensitive and loving, not based on some emotional blackmail. Do it for fellow believers who are experiencing difficulties in another part of the world.
I hope you also will take some time today to consider how the Lord is asking you to care for others – those within our church and those around the world whom we may help through our mission dollars. What obligation is the Lord laying upon your heart? How may you plan to give in ways that honor God? Will you regularly set aside funds meant for others, rather than your own personal expenses? Give because God has asked us to care for those in need.
Gracious God, we do not live in isolation, but we are always part of a bigger entity as members of the body of Christ. Help us consider with thoughtfulness and sensitivity how we may use our funds in ways that honor you and care for our neighbors. Let us plan in ways that do great good, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.