Continuing 1 Corinthians.
The church in Corinth is one that has a unique story. I pray that you are encouraged through this journey. I want to give you a few encouraging points from these chapters.
Read: 1 Corinthians 9
In this letter, we see more and more the difficulty that Paul had with this church. He had to continually defend his position and his ministry. Despite this, Paul showed his unwavering love and passion for this church. As your pastor, I pray that my love for you would grow to be as Paul’s was for Corinth. I ask that you would pray for me to possess that love. That even amid frustrations and victories, my love would continue to grow.
1. Paul defends his ministry (9:1-14). Paul has already defended his position once. Knowing that in the church of Corinth, there were some that claimed to be “super-apostles.” Men that had specialized knowledge that the apostles did not possess. There was division in the church about which leader they would follow. Some followed Apollos, others Peter, and some Paul. Everyone likes their favorite. Here though Paul is defending his right to earn a living. The church in Corinth had bought into this idea that the apostles and spiritual leaders did not need to make a living; rather, just “trust the Lord to provide.” We see this in some churches today, they refuse to take care of their pastors. Pastors will go years without a raise, or they are forced to live at the poverty level without an opportunity for outside work. We know that this is not biblical, as Paul writes. Churches should love and take care of their pastors.
2. Laying down his rights (9:15-27). Paul explains to them that he is laying down those rights. He had the right to request wages from them, yet he chooses not to. The reason, he knew that they would try and lord it over him. Instead, he wanted to be able to preach the Gospel without hindrance. That his only focus was making the name of Jesus known to all people, not to be hindered in his ministry by those who would hold him back. Paul also explains the mindset of his ministry, that he has become a servant of all. To the Jews, I became a Jew to win Jews. He was able to be who he needed to be to share the Gospel with them. This is a reminder to us that we should always be on the lookout of how we can present the Gospel. If you are like me, you run in many different circles, you have all types of friends. The way you share the Gospel with them will be different than another.
Words of Encouragement:
A. Pray for your pastor. Pray that the church would bless him and his family. Pray that his ministry to the church would not be hindered. Pray that his love for the church would only grow and multiply.
B. Pray for your ministry. Pray that you would serve the body of Christ well. Pray that you would love other members.
C. Pray for your lost sheep. Pray that they would come to know the love of Christ.
D. Pray that God would open up His Word to you. Dive into it.
I am thankful to serve you.