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]