1 Corinthians 16 The Voice (VOICE)
16 Now I call you, just as I did the churches gathering in Galatia, to collect funds to support God’s people in Jerusalem. 2 On Sunday, the first day of the week, I want each of you to set aside an amount, as God has blessed you, so the funds will be collected by the time I come. 3 When I get there, I will send those you recommend by your own letters to carry your generous and gracious donation to Jerusalem. 4 If you think it seems appropriate for me to travel with them, then we’ll go together.
5 Get ready. I will come your way after traveling through Macedonia. For I’m just passing through Macedonia 6 and will probably stay with you through the winter so that you may provide for my next journey (wherever that may be). 7 I want to reconnect with you, not just pass through; if the Lord is willing, I hope to stay awhile. 8 But until Pentecost, I plan to stay in Ephesus 9 because, not only has God opened a significant door here for me to serve, but also there is a lot of opposition against me.
Churches are often characterized by words such as “independent” and “autonomous.” But one would be hard-pressed to find any of these ideas in the Scriptures. Instead, Paul seems to be modeling submission and interdependence. We must always consider others and shape our actions to bless them. But he does not stop there—it is clear that we are responsible to care for one another in physical and monetary ways. What might Paul say to the church today, given the drastic disparity between the wealthy churches of the West and the brothers and sisters in the rest of the world who lack food, water, or shelter?
10 If Timothy comes, see that he is comfortable and untroubled; his work is the Lord’s, as is mine. 11 No one should treat him badly. Send him on to meet me in peace because the brothers and sisters here and I are looking for him. 12 You shouldn’t expect to see our brother Apollos, although I tried to persuade him to come to you with the rest of the brothers and sisters, because now is not the best time for him to come. When it’s his time, he will come.
13 Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong. 14 Let love prevail in your life, words, and actions.
15 Finally, brothers and sisters, I call on you to follow your leaders. People like those in the house of Stephanas—you know they were among the first believers in Achaia, and they have devoted their lives to serving God’s people— 16 I urge you to submit to the authority of such leaders, to every coworker, and to those who offer their backs and shoulders for the work. 17 I celebrate the arrival of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, as they have supplied me with what you could not. 18 They have been a breath of fresh air for me as I know they are for you, so respect and honor those like them.
19 The churches in Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca send a heartfelt greeting in the Lord along with those who gather at their house. 20 The entire family in faith here sends their greetings. Be sure you greet one another by a holy kiss.
21 This closing greeting is written by my own hand—Paul’s: 22 May those who have no love for the Lord be cursed. Maranatha, “Our Lord, come!” 23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love to you all in the name of the Anointed One, Jesus. [Amen.][a]
1 Corinthians 16 New International Version (NIV)
The Collection for the Lord’s People
16 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.
5 After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
10 When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. 11 No one, then, should treat him with contempt. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.
12 Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.
13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, 16 to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.
19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla[a] greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.
22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord[b]!
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.[c]