Biblical principles are ALWAYS worth practicing and obeying.
Text for Today – 1 Corinthians 16:2 – Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him that there be no gatherings when I come.
Paul tells the church, and that includes the individual believers that make up the church to “lay by … in store” on the “first day of the week” so there would be no need for special offerings when he came among them. Here, dear friend, is a rule for life that many have forgotten, ignored, or simply have never been taught. I have used this principle, not only as it relates to the church, but in my personal living most of my life. I bought my first rifle, my first guitar, and even the engagement ring I gave my bride using this “lay in store” method of handling finance. I determined the cost, and simply saved a certain amount each week so I could pay cash for what I wanted, and not be under the financial pressure of debt in order to possess it.
Paul was relating this to the working of the church. Too often, I have witnessed guest ministers being poorly treated after pouring out their heart with a Word from God for a congregation. After the Word was delivered, that minister received a $50 or $75 honorarium, and then had to drive 125 miles to return home after an evening service. And, yes, it has happened to me. Was I offended? No. Was I insulted or angered? No. And the reason is that I look to God to meet my needs, not the offering or honorarium I might receive. I appreciate the gift, but God is my source. The bottom line is this; if a congregation has been properly taught to “lay in store,” a guest minister would be greatly blessed and honored, and the church would be greatly blessed as well. Of course, for the congregation to be taught this lesson, it would mean that the pastor understands its importance. But don’t miss the point. You cannot purchase the blessings of God, but that does not preclude us from being obedient to His Word. The truth that “the laborer is worthy of his hire” is still applicable.
Let me encourage you to adopt the “lay in store” principle as a part of your lifestyle. Even if your church doesn’t practice it, you should. Whether you then find yourself in a position to bless a servant of the Lord, or a need arises in your life that will require a financial source, you’ll be in a position to avoid pressure appeals or debt, both of which can be deceptively hurtful to you. If you will diligently practice the “lay in store” principle, God will bless what you lay in store so you can come to the place of always abounding in every good work at all times. That’s a great place to live. I know, many would call this “saving for a rainy day,” but it’s not. It’s actually walking in the love of God so your faith works. You’re not “saving for a rainy day.” What you ARE doing is “laying in store to be a blessing.” And if you are a blessing, you will be blessed.
Manna for Today – 2 Corinthians 9:5-8; Proverbs 10:4