“CONSISTENT” 1 Cor. 16:1-2
2nd C today: “cheerful” last week – “consistent” today.
Remember my promises to you as we go through this series on giving:
- Not going to bash you – not beat you up
- Not going to berated you – not bad-mouth you
- Not going to belittle you – not beat you down
- Not going to beleaguer you – not bug you constantly
Just lay out the truths from God’s Word & let His Spirit work in our lives.
Consistent – This is a great word for any Christ-follower’s life. Here’s the definition of “consistent”:
- agreeing or accordant; compatible; not self-contradictory:
- constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc.:
- holding firmly together
Wouldn’t it be great if those things described our daily walk w/ Christ?
- That our lives would not be “self-contradictory” – that we walk the talk & live out our faith in Christ & our love for God in a consistent manner. How many of us “self-contradicted” our lives this past week?
- We say we know Christ, but the way we reacted to that guy who cut us off on the interstate contradicted our lives.
- …but that time last week when we looked at something on the internet or watched that TV show contradicted our lives.
- …but the way we treated our wife or husband contradicted our lives.
- …but the gossip session we participated in contradicted our lives.
- …but those lustful thoughts, those bitter thoughts, those jealous thoughts contradicted our lives.
- …but the lack of consistency in our giving contradicts our lives.
- That we constantly adhere to the same principles & course of life – the principles & course of life that are set out for us in the Word of God.
- That we are held firmly together in our faith – through our consistent intake of the Word; our consistent prayer lives; our consistent involvement in the church; our consistent relationships w/ our brothers & sisters in Christ who sharpen us, encourage us, even rebuke & correct us at times.
Oswald Chambers wrote this about the Apostle Paul who penned the verses we are looking at today: “Most of us are not consistent spiritually because we are more concerned about being consistent externally. In the external expression of things, Paul lived in the basement, while his critics lived on the upper level. And these two levels do not begin to touch each other. But Paul’s consistency was down deep in the fundamentals. The great basis of his consistency was the agony of God in the redemption of the world, namely, the Cross of Christ.
State your beliefs to yourself again. Get back to the foundation of the Cross of Christ, doing away with any belief not based on it. In secular history the Cross is an infinitesimally small thing, but from the biblical perspective it is of more importance than all the empires of the world.”
As we get back to the foundation of the Cross of Christ & realize all that has been given to us through the Cross of Christ, our hearts will be moved to people who give cheerfully & consistently. Here are 5 reasons to give consistently:
It’s a critical need-meeter – v. 1a – “Now concerning the collection for the saints” – The “saints” he’s referring to here are the Christians in Jerusalem who were suffering greatly. They were in poverty, suffering from famine, persecution, & economic sanctions that had been put on them. Their needs were critical & real, & Paul felt strongly about collecting money to take to them to help them in this time of critical need. Warren Wiersbe: “Paul not only preached the Gospel, but he also tried to assist those who had physical and material needs.” Just another valid reason for us to do Mission Byram – meet needs, preach the Gospel, give to others in their time of need. Thank God for that awesome ministry & the folks who so faithfully serve there!
CWBC so good about responding to immediate critical needs. Thank you! But those critical needs are going on 24-7, 365! Our consistent giving is how we continually meet the critical needs of those around us & those around the world.
It’s a commanded practice – v. 1b – “as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do.” Word for “directed” is a strong word that means to “command; give detailed instruction; to tell what to do.” Paul spoke with his apostolic authority to let the believers at Corinth know that their giving was not optional, but was a mandatory practice.
Consistent giving is a key characteristic of a maturing believer. As we grow in our spiritual walk, we will understand that we must be obedient to the command of Scripture to give to the Lord’s work on a consistent, steady basis.
It’s a compassion-builder – What happens in your heart when you give to meet a need that you’ve been made aware of, & you find out how grateful the recipient was? What a blessing! You realize the truth of Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The level of the Christian compassion in your heart grows as you give. And as we give consistently, that compassion builds up even stronger. Consistent giving leads to growing compassion which leads to greater obedience on our part & more needs being met in the name of Jesus!
It’s a congregational worship act – v. 2 – “On the 1st day of the week…” “Every Sunday” (GNT) “On every Lord’s Day” (TLB) – We don’t regularly do corporate worship on Sat. Nothing wrong w/ doing it then, but we don’t do it in an effort to keep the OT law of the Sabbath. We worship on the 1st day of the week to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus from the grave. It’s Easter Sunday EVERY Sunday! And our giving is an act of worship of our risen, living, soon-returning Savior & King Jesus!
It’s a cooperative effort – v. 2b – “…each of you is to put something aside…” – (Addie’s giving record) – The beauty of giving in the FAMILY of God is that EVERYONE CAN PARTICIPATE! Young or old, everyone can participate in the grace of giving to the Lord’s work. And the truth is that we need everyone to participate in a cooperative effort. And we need everyone to give consistently.
- It’s a FAMILY effort – all working together, each person giving their part. Can’t lean on those who we think are the “heavy hitters” to give it all. Been in churches where that was the case & the bulk of the church members got very lazy in their giving. Also heard of a church where one of the “heavy hitters” disagreed w/ the pastor & told him he was going to withhold his $ so the church would go under & the pastor would be blamed for it.
- It’s a FAITH effort – To be consistent means that we are going to have to be growing in our ongoing trust in God.
 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 621). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.