Integrity in giving!
Scripture reading for August 22nd: 1st Corinthians 16, Psalm 17, Proverbs 12
1st Corinthians 16: 1-4 “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.”
God is a God of order and peace. A lack of integrity in handling of offerings can be a source of division and strife among believers. In his closing remarks to this church family, Paul gives instructions for an offering taken for hurting believers in Jerusalem. First, each person is to willingly, as God prospers them, set aside weekly an offering to be given when Paul arrives. Paul did not want to pressure them to give or coerce them in any way. God loves cheerful givers! Second, the church should select trustworthy individuals to send with the offering to insure it gets to the place and people intended. Paul would only go himself it it seemed advisable. The utmost integrity and accountability was to be given to God’s offerings in accordance with established practices laid out by church leaders. Amen!
Psalm 17:4-5 “With regard to the works of man, by the Word of Your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. My steps have held fast to Your paths; my feet have not slipped.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You are a just God Who cares about truth and integrity in Your people. How we handle money is a test of our faithfulness and character. Help us to follow Your simple instructions and to be accountable with all offerings. Bless those who give with joy and freedom and those who act in integrity in using all finances to Your intended benefit. Keep our feet from slipping.
Proverbs 12:20-21 “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.”