1 Corinthians 9:1-14
9 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? Aren’t you the result of my work for the Lord? 2 Others may not think of me as an apostle. But I am certainly one to you! You are the proof that I am the Lord’s apostle. 3 That is what I say to stand up for myself when people judge me. 4 Don’t we have the right to eat and drink? 5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife with us when we travel? The other apostles do. The Lord’s brothers do. Peter does. 6 Or are Barnabas and I the only ones who have to do other work for a living? Are we the only ones who can’t just do the work of apostles all the time? 7 Who serves as a soldier but doesn’t get paid? Who plants a vineyard but doesn’t eat any of its grapes? Who takes care of a flock but doesn’t drink any of the milk? 8 Do I say this only on human authority? The Law says the same thing. 9 Here is what is written in the Law of Moses. “Do not stop an ox from eating while it helps separate the grain from the straw.” (Deuteronomy 25:4) Is it oxen that God is concerned about? 10 Doesn’t he say that for us? Yes, it was written for us. Whoever plows and separates the grain hopes to share the harvest. And it is right for them to hope for this. 11 We have planted spiritual seed among you. Is it too much to ask that we receive from you some things we need? 12 Others have the right to receive help from you. Don’t we have even more right to do so? But we didn’t use that right. No, we have put up with everything. We didn’t want to keep the good news of Christ from spreading. 13 People who serve in the temple get their food from the temple. Don’t you know this? People who serve at the altar eat from what is offered on the altar. Don’t you know this? 14 So those who preach the good news should also receive their living from their work. That is what the Lord has commanded.
Paul is defending himself here to be able to eat, live and receive offerings/wages for his preaching of the Gospel. He speaks of the other disciples receiving food, housing and care for their service to the church and their ministry. I am so glad that as a church we have so many people who give and tithe towards the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is a blessing for us to employ those who have gifts of ministry and leadership. It is a gift to have so many people who give of their time, talents and abilities free of charge as well. I am constantly amazed at the generosity, love and care that exudes from our church. The meals, funds, help, prayer, love, and care that people show each other.
There is so much need in the world, and at times we all have seasons of need; however I watch how individuals sacrificially give of their lives to each other and it blesses me to see it – how much it must bless Jesus to see His Church in action. We are called to Love God and Love Others. Let’s continue to BE the CHURCH.
Father, thank you for the blessing of Christ, His example of how to love. Help us to love and care for each other. Show us what we can do to bless, encourage, and extend in your Kingdom amongst us and to our community.
Written by Ps. Sue Botta