Abuse not our power in the Gospel
1 Corinthians 9:17-18
17 For if I do this thing willingly [voluntary], I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation [stewardship] is committed [credited] unto me.
18 What is my reward then? That, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge [costing nothing], that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
I have seen whenever some incident disturbs me the very next day the Lord has a message for me. Yesterday some characters who have made Jesus Christ an external lifestyle but are void of His Word and His understanding disturbed me. They are more of religious people who practice a religion called Christianity. When they read a message they do not look at what is there in the message which can bless them but try to look if they can find any faults. They turn a blind eye to the most parts of the message but will remove a part of it, out of its context, which they find can be used for their misuse and try to put people down. They may ask questions not to hear an answer for they already have an answer which they want you to listen and abide by. They will not attack people who give a different Gospel but people who make an attempt to give the true Gospel, they will not spare.
Also yesterday as I was fellowshipping with a few bothers we were disappointed at hearing a great Man of God whom we respected very much had told poor village people during 'collection of offering' if they do not have money, to put even their gold jewellery into the 'offering bag'. A year before we heard of him pulling up a music evangelist for not going on the stage at the last minute because the organizers had not made a good contribution to him. Today sadly he has become one of them.
The Lord is asking us, what is the purpose of our going out and preaching the Gospel? Are we doing it voluntarily? Is our going out to give the Gospel more out of completion or are we doing it out of desire to save people? If we are doing it to benefit us materially, if so, then we have no reward in Heaven for us.
The Lord is telling us we will have to pay a price to truly give the Gospel to His people and to bring His people to Him. We need to remember we are working in Christ and Christ paid a great price. We are not called to pay a price like Christ but being part of Him we too are called to pay a price so that we too may receive a great reward in Heaven.
Did Jesus not know people need to tithe or give an 'offering'? Did He ever ask people to donate to His work? But we see people willing gave His ministry to which He did not say no, He accepted it and this was put in their money bag. But at no time did Jesus and His team rely on the money bag, to the extent the charge of the bag was given to Judas.
Jesus too faced resistance as He preached from place to place. The Pharisees and other people like the Jewish priest followed Him not to hear Him but to trap Him by what He spoke and to bring Him down. The Lord is telling us if we are in Him we too will experience this for the world hated Him first and since we are in Him we too will be hated by people of this world.
Let us be focused on the purpose of our giving the Gospel and let our reward not be an earthly reward of fame, worldly power or money.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we pray those who are truly working in your Vineyard may not tire. That they may be focused on the purpose of giving the Gospel, let them always remember it is all about saving people. Let their reward not be things of the world, thing that perish. But let their reward be a heavenly reward that is beyond all the riches of the world put together...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Corinthians 9:16-19
16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, The place is desert, and the day is now far spent;
36 send them away, that they may go into the country and villages round about, and buy themselves somewhat to eat.
37 But he answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred shillings' worth of bread, and give them to eat?
John 13:29 - For some thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus said unto him, Buy what things we have need of for the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
John 15:18 - If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me before you.
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