1 Corinthians 16
16 Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia. 2 On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once. 3 When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem. 4 And if it seems appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me.
5 I am coming to visit you after I have been to Macedonia, for I am planning to travel through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay awhile with you, possibly all winter, and then you can send me on my way to my next destination. 7 This time I don’t want to make just a short visit and then go right on. I want to come and stay awhile, if the Lord will let me. 8 In the meantime, I will be staying here at Ephesus until the Festival of Pentecost. 9 There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.
10 When Timothy comes, don’t intimidate him. He is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am. 11 Don’t let anyone treat him with contempt. Send him on his way with your blessing when he returns to me. I expect him to come with the other believers.
12 Now about our brother Apollos—I urged him to visit you with the other believers, but he was not willing to go right now. He will see you later when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.
15 You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God’s people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, 16 to submit to them and others like them who serve with such devotion. 17 I am very glad that Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus have come here. They have been providing the help you weren’t here to give me. 18 They have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as they have been to you. You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well.
19 The churches here in the province of Asia send greetings in the Lord, as do Aquila and Priscilla and all the others who gather in their home for church meetings. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send greetings to you. Greet each other with Christian love.
21 Here is my greeting in my own handwriting—Paul.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!
23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus.
Paul takes care of a lot of details–money, people, travel–and ministers in the process. He’s also the messenger bringing the money to be given to the believers in Jerusalem. Not sure why the Corinthians took an offering for those in Jerusalem. Perhaps because it was the mother church and was like the “denomination headquarters.” Maybe it was because of the pending persecution.
I was again struck by Paul’s saying he would stay in Corinth “if the Lord lets me.” It’s a reminder of how sensitive he was to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I don’t even think that way, althoughI want to do what God wanlts. Often it’s a quick “oh, yes” for me–it wasn’t that for Paul. I need to be more conscious of “if the Lord will let me.”