Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Cor 16:14
With the glorious theme of the resurrection concluded, in chapter 16 of 1 Corinthians, Paul ties up some practical loose ends, namely giving instructions for taking up collections, his and others’ travel plans, and a few admonitions and greetings. This final chapter of 1 Corinthians reminds us that this really is a letter, and we are, after all, reading someone else’s mail. We are not to think however, that this chapter is unimportant; we will learn much as we observe how Paul brings the gospel to bear on practical church matters. And, as is true of all Scripture, chapter 16 serves a purpose for believers in every generation for shaping the life of the individual Christian and the church as a whole. In the first part of chapter 16 Paul gives directions about the collection and discusses his future itinerary. In the second part he brings the letter to a close with words of farewell. It is no accident that this final chapter places particular emphasis on love (vss. 14, 22, 24) (Hays R.B. Interpretation: First Corinthians ©1997).
Throughout most of the epistle, Paul is dealing with issues of unity, holiness, and love at the level of the local church in Corinth. In this last chapter we gain an appreciation for Paul’s greater missionary work. It shows us that the local church belongs to a wider network of communities, and that every believer must know that they are part of a grander universal church. It also reveals that the church must partake in the regular discipline of financial giving to meet the needs of our brethren across the lands. Without pressure, gimmicks or emotional manipulation, all of the people of God ought to give regularly, systematically, proportionately and freely – not out of compulsion of legalism (2 Cor 9:7). A proper biblical use of our money both a matter of obedience to God and our growth in godliness. The use of one’s money is a barometer of one’s spiritual maturity. How we use it reveals our priorities and what is in our hearts. Do you demonstrate love for others in the manner in which you use your finances?