“The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the wear. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” (Isaiah50:4)
Beloved, I believe that one of the cornerstones of supporting ministry is first and foremost built upon our listening and learning from God, so we must open our ears and our minds to listen and hear what it is God wants us to know that day.
Some might say this is overly simplistic, but it has been my experience, that if we are not prepared to hear God speaking to us, we will miss it completely. He speaks to us through His Word, and we must be in the Word every day. It is what prepares us for supporting ministry with others, because we take the proper steps to learn every day.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You ask us to support the church, to support people in our communities, to support people who are struggling every day, to survive another day. If we are not well versed in Your Word, how are we to recognize what to support and when, if we are not prepared for the ministry You will direct us to? This we pray, in Jesus’ name pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Your beacon can’t shine, if your light don’t work!”
“I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop the boasting of mine. Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then received me just as your a fool, so that I mad do a little boasting.” (2nd Corinthians 11:8-16)
In Old Testament life, the Temple tithe and offerings primarily supported the Levites or priests. Both Christ and Paul affirmed that supporting God called ministers is the duty of the Christian church. Paul was anxious to assure the Corinthians that he was not after their money but desired that they know Christ. Paul apologized for permitting them to be ‘inferior’ to other churches by not supporting his ministry. His self-support was for their good and was not an example to be followed in all churches.
“I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Yet is was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early day of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus, the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to is glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our Goad and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians4:10–20)
In verses 10-13 we see an enabling prayer and I must point out something very important. Material resources do not provide the power a disciple needs. Only Christ can provide the strength needed to do everything God wants done. Paul was able to face all kinds of circumstances with contentment because he expected Christ to provide the necessary strength required, no matter what the circumstance.
Paul graciously acknowledged the Philippians gifts given to help in his ministry. He demonstrated the minister’s responsibility to be satisfied in ministry and not become a burden to the church. He also demonstrated that t he church benefits by financially supporting the minister.
Second Thought of the Day:
“For the Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and’ the workers deserves his wages.’ (1st Timothy5:18)
Paul tried not to burden churches financially and so supported himself as far as possible. He set an example for bi-vocational ministers. He did not set up his example as the only right one.
He encouraged churches to provide the necessary resources for church leaders so they could be as productive as possible. Churches should make every effort to provide for the physical needs of their leaders.