Friday, April 16, 2010

1 Corinthians 9 DEVO: God’s Servant & His “Rights”

Chapter 9:
Ok, so today’s passage has to do with pastors, of which I am one. I’m always humbled, sobered and grateful for God’s call on my life to work with students. I believe there are two messages here from Paul:
Message to the Congregation: Support Your Pastor! Paul represented God. He had every “right” to be supported by those whom he ministered to, though he chose not to. Paying workers is appropriate. Soldiers don’t work another job, are provided food, clothing shelter, weapons, shields, etc. at our expense! Farmers plant and get paid for it. Even shepherds get milk! God tells us to pay them as they earn their living from the Gospel. The Corinthians supported others (12) why not Paul? Finally, Jesus tells us to pay our pastors (14).
Message to the Pastor: Be a Joyful, Servant Leader! Servants don’t demand things, and Paul didn’t. He should have been getting paid, but he didn’t write these things to get paid but to teach a responsibility. And Paul was glad to preach the Gospel, whether it be for money or not. I’ve always told everyone, if I didn’t have bills to pay, I’d do what I do for free – and I did do it for free for a lot of years before Katy, Texas. Pastors (& everyone) are called to be a “slave to everyone” so that we can see people come to Christ (20-23)! We are also called to discipline, to training, to run strong in this Christian life with goals and purpose, and to lead other to Jesus! I am so grateful for the privilege and I can truly say it is and has been a Great Adventure!
*So, how are you involved in supporting your pastor(s)? $$$, encouragement, speaking highly of him, praying for him, obeying him? Do you pay them enough so that their spouse doesn’t have to work outside the home? (Hebrews 13:7,17) Yeah, yeah, I’m sure this sounds self-serving. You should know that in my nearly 20 years of student ministry in Katy, I’ve only asked sought financial help two times – both after we had cashed in all our savings. And both times the church helped. If I were in this to get rich I’m an idiot. I’m just echoing Paul, take care of your pastor.
*What “rights” are you giving up for the sake of being used by God? We like to call ourselves servants , at least until we get treated like one! Becoming a servant will cost you & me but if we do it for the Lord, it’s an investment for eternity! Give it up for the Lord today!
*Finally, how is your spiritual training going? Is it lame or is it truly a work out? Always remember we are in the race of life, eternal life, and it takes training to run well! Spending time with the Lord regularly in prayer and reading His Word is vital training!

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