July 4, 2017

Please use the comment section on this page to share insights from today’s reading OR your own personal Bible reading.

Reading along with us in 1 Corinthians? Here’s today’s reading:

1 Corinthians 9 (ESV)

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? 2 If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3 This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?… Continue Reading

*If you click “Continue Reading”, you will leave this page and navigate to “bible.com” where you can read the rest of the chapter. Be sure to come back to this page to share what God has revealed to you by commenting below. 

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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. 19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. ❤️
    25Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26So I do not run aimlessly; 🙂Or bike🚴 Aimlessly.

  2. I so relate to Paul’s heart here, where he says he doesn’t exercise his right to be completely supported financially by the church, because he wants his preaching of the gospel to “not be in vain.” Many unbelievers look at financial wealth of Christian pastors, preachers, evangelists, missionaries, board members of mission organizations, etc. as a sign of insincerity and greed. Whether you agree with their assessment or not doesn’t change the fact that financial wealth gained from preaching the gospel is a barrier to the gospel. It really is.

    I think today, especially, when so many are hurting financially and barely making ends meet, people want to see the power of God in the gospel. A preacher of the gospel must be willing to “be one of us,” a regular man or woman who has to stretch every dollar, save money, keep a budget, be a good steward, stay out of (or get out of) debt by not overspending, and rely on God! I’m so thankful our pastor is “one of us,” and that I haven’t once been under a pastor who wasn’t. That has made a big difference in how I received their teaching.

    I read Paul 1 Corinthians 9:20-23 in light of that. Paul wants to be sure his gospel is not tainted by his not being “one of us” to anyone. ❤️

  3. It is good that Paul had wisdom in dealing with the Corinthians! He clearly teaches that those working to share the gospel deserve support, and yet, he decided to take nothing so as not to be accused of reaping material gain from them. It is interesting that in the previous chapter, he encourages the Corinthians (and us) not to stand on our “rights”, the liberty to eat meat sacrifice to idols, for the sake of others. In this chapter, he states his right to make a living from the gospel, and yet, he lays aside his rights so as not to hinder the gospel. How often do we stand on our rights as Americans (or as Christians) to the hindrance of the gospel, or even to the hindrance of unity, peace, love…..?

  4. The elders and deacons can confirm that I have turned down raises or taken them reluctantly because I do believe that a pastor can make too much. In that I seek to strike a balance between what Paul is writing here: the appropriateness of me receiving an income as a pastor, but making it clear I am not in it for the money. I diligently avoid knowing how much people in the congregation give because I would never want to be tempted to treat people differently based on how much they give. Yet I am beyond grateful for how graciously people at LHCC have given and I and the leaders seek to be good stewards of what is entrusted. Feel free to ask me how I/we determine what my income is.

    It would also be an interesting conversation to consider the limits of being all things to all men, particularly how that might be affected if the freedom we are expressing in accomplishing that goal comes up against the love we would have to the weak conscienced believer in chapter 8. It is so important to strike a balance between being like people so as to save them but also not being of the world and presenting an example of Christlikeness that is unlike them.

    1. Your approach to money and stewardship has impacted me greatly, Pastor Peter. I would love to know more about how you determine your income as a pastor. I have tabled projects out of concern for appearance to unbelievers especially, after conversations I’ve had.

      And yes, let’s talk about that second paragraph! Your reply to me on 1 Corinthians 8 lists the very things I’m concerned about. When is it flaunting?

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