*Update (6/19/14)* Last September, I started a series on Paul’s letters with plans to go through a chapter a week from Romans through Philemon. As I’ve been studying his letters in Romans and Corinthians, I’ve felt for the last couple months God has been leading me in a different direction than I had originally thought. I was studying 2 Corinthians 2 this week and it opened my eyes to what God has been speaking to me all along. In verse 12-13, Paul wrote, “Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord, I had no rest for my spirit, not finding Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went on to Macedonia” (NASB).
Even though there are open doors for me to continue ministering online, I have not felt at peace in my spirit lately. I shared recently on another ministry site how God has answered a long time prayer by bringing my husband closer to Him. From the moment God called me to start writing five years ago, I have prayed I would not be alone in ministry, ministering apart from my husband and children. I know for a time it had to be, but I feel God is answering that prayer now as He is drawing me and my husband, and our children, closer together than ever before. So I must prayerfully stop writing for now as we seek the Lord together for His will. I don’t know yet where He will lead us or if He will lead me to resume writing again. But I trust that He will always direct us in the right path, as Proverbs 3:6 promises “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Thank you to all my readers who have welcomed and encouraged me through the years. I pray God’s blessings to be continually upon this site and that He’d continue to use these past messages to lead people to Christ and into a deeper relationship with Him.
Blessings to you all,
*Original post (5/20/14)*
This is the last Monday’s blog I will be posting on this site. I am prayerfully making some changes to my blog, and will be changing the days I post. I am not sure yet when I will have it ready to start posting again.
This is the last message in Paul’s letters in 1 Corinthians. If you would like to continue following this series, I will continue with 2 Corinthians in two weeks at these websites: Tuesdays at Brother Stephan McCarroll and Thursdays (Singapore time – Wednesdays U.S. time) at Christian Blessings.
We end our study of 1 Corinthians this week with 1 Corinthians 16.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. When I arrive, whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem; and if it is fitting for me to go also, they will go with me.
v. 1-4 (NASB)
The KJV for the second verse reads “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him…” Everything God asks us to give away, whether it be money, love, forgiveness, etc., we can be sure that He has first given it to us. We are more willing to give when we are not in lack. If we lack receiving God’s provision for our needs, we will be less willing to give to meet someone else’s needs. If we lack receiving God’s forgiveness for our mistakes, we will be less willing to forgive others for their mistakes. We have to receive from God before we can give to others.
But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go. For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits. But I will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost; for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
v. 5-9 (NASB)
The doors God opens will be effective and produce the fruit He desires. Those open doors will also bring opposition. We must continually remember that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. Satan may come against us, but he has no authority to prevent us from fulfilling God’s plan.
Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord’s work, as I also am. So let no one despise him. But send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brethren.
v. 10-11 (NASB)
Paul encouraged Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (KJV). Just because someone is younger does not mean they have less wisdom than someone who is older. Timothy may have felt inferior to the elders. But Paul knew his heart was humble before God. With humility, rather than age, comes true wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).
But concerning Apollos our brother, I encouraged him greatly to come to you with the brethren; and it was not at all his desire to come now, but he will come when he has opportunity.
v. 12 (NASB)
I believe it wasn’t Apollos’ desire to come then, because it wasn’t God’s desire. The Bible says Apollos was fervent in spirit (Acts 18:25). As we seek God and are filled with His Spirit, His desires become our desires.
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints), that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors. I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacking on your part. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.
v. 13-18 (NASB)
In verse 13 above, the word translated as “be on the alert” is grégoreó, which means “to be awake, to watch.” The same word was used in warnings to ”wake up” the church in Sardis in Revelation 3, and to all the church in Revelation 16:
I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Revelation 3:1-3 (NIV)
“Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
Revelation 16:15 (NIV)
Paul gives his final greetings reminding the Corinthians and us to remain in Christ, so as the verse above explains, we will not be unclothed and shamefully exposed in our sin when He returns.
The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
The greeting is in my own hand—Paul. If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
v. 19-24 (NASB)
We praise You and receive all that You have given us through Jesus. Jesus said to remain in Him as He also remains in us. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can we bear fruit unless we remain in Him. Help us to remain in Him so we can stand up against Satan’s opposition and bear fruit to effectively do Your will. Humble us and fill us with Your wisdom and Your desires.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!
*Follow this link to read previous posts in this series.