"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage (for Tues., Aug. 14)
I Corinthians 9:1-18
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! I Corinthians 9:16 (NKJV)
I Corinthians chapter 9 speaks about being paid to serve God - being paid in the ministry. Paul states clearly that those who labor in the gospel are worthy of their hire. It is ok to receive a salary for ministry. It is right to receive recompense.
But then Paul seems to double back on himself. He begins to address one of the most important principles for ANYONE who would serve the Lord. Most people will not receive money for their ministry. But, they can set up a different kind of system in their hearts that will destroy their effectiveness if they let it.
Do you serve God because of what you get out of it, or simply because God called you to do it? It is far too easy for the servant of God to begin comparing what he is bringing in against what he is giving out. He then can begin to try to measure how much people appreciate what he does. Do they pay me what I'm worth? Do they complement me enough? Do they admire me for all the ways I serve? Do they recognise my maturity and my track record?
When anyone begins to serve God with these ideas in his head, he has become useless for the ministry. We minister not to build our egos. We serve not so we can boast of our deeds. We minister because we are debtors. We serve because GOD HAS CALLED. We give because He first gave to us.
So forget what others say. Focus only on what God says. Refuse to evaluate yourself on what people do or say. And you will then be a true servant of God. And .... the rewards are incredible.