JULY 19, 2022 ~ 52 WEEKS THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT
JULY 19 READING…1 CORINTHIANS 9
Paul’s Apostleship was constantly being questioned, and especially by a certain group in the church of Corinth. It is a strange thing that people do. Somehow, they assume their opinion of Pastors, or in this case an Apostle, somehow impacts whether or not they are genuinely what they are. From a personal perspective, my being a Pastor is the result of a call from God. How I fulfill that call is the rub…but the call belongs to God, not man. Certainly, it is good when the church affirms God’s call on someone’s life…but again, if the call does not come from God, it doesn’t matter how many institutions acknowledge the person’s position…and if the call comes from God, it doesn’t matter, ultimately, whether people reject the call of God on a person. Paul goes on to say that as a minister of the Gospel, a person has a God-given right to live from the Gospel. He is not saying to become rich off the people of the church, but that the church needs to take care of those who minister to them in the Word. I have pastored at four different churches, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the people of God supplying the needs of myself and my family.
Paul then gives a warning to the Pastors. A Pastor should never use his God-given position to take advantage and abuse the people of God. A Pastor needs to remember that his call is to share the message of the Gospel, and not to build a kingdom to himself. A true Pastor finds his joy and reward in being able to preach the Gospel, and not to use his position to gain authority over the church. A Pastor is a servant of Christ first, and then a servant of the church. A Pastor needs to treat all people impartially, with respect, and with care that is due a precious soul that belongs to God. A Pastor understands that the people of the church belong to God, and he is called to be a good steward of God’s people. A Pastor is to be an under-shepherd, tending the sheep…not a hireling, fleecing the sheep. Finally, a Pastor should keep his eyes on the prize, Jesus and the eternal promise… always disciplining his body and mind, not to become disqualified. My prayer is that with all my failings and shortcomings, I would always faithfully Pastor the people of God, loving them, nurturing them in the Word, and caring for them as a proper under-shepherd.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READING…1 CORINTHIANS 10