“I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. And when I was with you and needed something, I as 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 this 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 a angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his 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 receive me just as you would a fool, so that I may 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.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, our prayer today is for the expressed reason that ministers may not always seek support from the church, but they always appreciate it when it comes to them. The work they do is always to be within God’s will and they represent the church, whether or not they tell anyone they do. The church ought to pray for its ministers, the work they do, and for their families, who give up their loved one to do the work God has called them to do. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Faith is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions.”
“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 days 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 Thessalonicia, 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 his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:10-20)
Paul graciously acknowledged the Philippians’ gifts given to help in the ministry. He demonstrated the minister’s responsibility to be satisfied in ministry and not become a burden to the church. He also demonstrated that the church benefits by financially supporting the minister.
“For the scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and ‘The worker deserves his wages.’” (1st Timothy 5:18)
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; rather, he encouraged churches to provide the necessary resources for church leaders so they could be a productive as possible. Churches should make every effort to provide for the physical needs of their leaders.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (2nd Timothy 4:5)
When one is called to ministry it is a very serious and responsible call to self-sacrifice commitment on the part of a church. It is not undertaken lightheartedly, but is work fulfilling in the service of the Lord. Most people do not understand the commitment required, as you are being called to do the work of evangelizing others and to declare t the world the gospel message, God’s judgment on sin, and His offer of grace and salvation. It is an important aspect of Christian ministry. The task is to awaken faith and make disciples for our Savior Jesus Christ. Though some persons are specially gifted as evangelists, all have he responsibility to witness. The writers of the gospels were called evangelists at a later time and a far cry from those who claim to be such in today’s times. Beloved, support your ministers at all times, for some, though they are paid will never get paid for all the work they do and others are called God’s work and receive no pay whatsoever. Appreciate their work, their commitment, and their love of God to answer a hard call, that only those truly called understand fully.