I Corinthians 9


MEMORY VERSE: I Corinthians 9:14: Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

"I'll not go to hear any preacher who is paid," a man once said angrily. Then he added: "I don't get paid to listen. Let the preacher work for a living as I have to do."

I've never been able to figure out his logic. What about the labor of preparation, visitation, counselling, administration, availability at all hours of the day or night and preaching itself? Only one who has poured out his heart in the ministry of God's Word can understand the labor involved. In the mind of the angry man, these energydraining activities were all supposed to be carried on after working the same schedule that he maintained.

Paul had to contend with that kind of thinking in his day and explained to the Corinthians that God's plan includes proper pay for ministers of the gospel. He appealed to their knowledge of the divine arrangement in the temple: "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?" (I Corinthians 9:13).

He reminded them that soldiers do not have to work at other jobs to provide a living: "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?" (I Corinthians 9:7).

Any man of God who really cares for the work of Christ will work another job when it is necessary. Paul made tents. But when a church can provide their pastor's living they should do so, enabling him to give time and energy where it is needed most.

Pay your pastor. It's God's plan. And His way is always best!

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