Set it aside. One of the steps of our daily walk with Christ is set aside a portion of our money to give back to him. Paul tells us to set it aside at the beginning of the week so we don’t spend it. Learning to faithfully give is an essential part of our discipleship. If we are to follow him we have to learn how to deny ourselves. The Corinthians struggled with this and Paul is challenging them to make it right.
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.
Struggling in Jerusalem
Paul was taking up an offering for those who were struggling in Jerusalem. That was a major need in the church at that time. The church was being persecuted and most Christians had a hard time finding a job to provide for their family. The Corinthians had promised they would take an offering to support these people but had failed to do so. Paul was calling on them to fulfill their commitment.
There is a responsibility on the part of each Christian to give. We are to set aside a portion of what we make to give back to the Lord. We are also to give to those who are in need. Unfortunately for many Christians, money is a god that is hard to conquer. We can’t deny ourselves and so there is nothing left over for God’s work. This is where Paul gives us some helpful advice. Make giving a priority. This is why he says to set it aside at the beginning of the week. Just as Proverbs 3:9 tells us to set aside our first fruits, which means the first and best, we need to set aside our giving to the Lord before we pay for anything else.
The Struggle is Real
So many people are struggling financially because they aren’t giving. God’s word is very clear about the consequences of holding back our finances. Plus, we are also missing the blessing that comes from giving and from blessing other people. God wants to show us how we can live better off of the amount after we give than we can with the full amount. Sometimes our biggest lessons of faithfulness come through our finances. Can you trust God to cover all of your needs when you give? This is the only area in the Bible that challenges us to test God. So go ahead and try it. Set it aside. Give to the Lord first and watch as he provides for you.