In the book of Romans Paul talks about an offering collected from the churches in Greece and Macedonia that he would be giving to the struggling Christians in Jerusalem. Over time other churches heard about the donations and made their own offerings. Not wanting the gifts of love to appear forced, or contrived, Paul encouraged all members to set aside their donations every week so that when he came to pick them up, everything would be ready and waiting for him.
Romans 15:25-27 New Life Version
25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to hand the Christians the gift of money. 26 The churches in the countries of Macedonia and Greece have decided to give money to help some of the poor Christians in Jerusalem. 27 They wanted to do it. They should help them in this way because they owe much to the Christians in Jerusalem. The Jews shared the Good News with the people who are not Jews. For this reason, they should share what they can with the Jews.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 New King James Version
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
Paul wanted the gifts the churches were giving to those in Jerusalem to come from their desire to help their Jewish church family. He didn’t want it to appear he had been telling them they had to give, but that their giving came from their own desire to help. Who are, and what do you do to help your struggling Christian family? Do your efforts demonstrate your faith and love for them? Do we help others out of our own abundance? Should our help be only monetary? How can we give non-monetarily?
2 Corinthians 8:8-12 International Children’s Bible
8 I am not commanding you to give. But I want to see if your love is true love. I do this by showing you that others really want to help. 9 You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. You know that Christ was rich, but for you he became poor. Christ did this so that by his being poor you might become rich.
James 2:15-17 Easy-to-Read Version
15 Suppose a brother or sister in Christ comes to you in need of clothes or something to eat. 16 And you say to them, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you don’t give them the things they need. If you don’t help them, your words are worthless. 17 It is the same with faith. If it is just faith and nothing more—if it doesn’t do anything—it is dead.