As a Bible teacher, I’ve traveled to many different countries to share the Scriptures. On many of those trips, I haven’t stayed in hotels but in people’s homes. Believers in Jesus opened their homes, providing me with food and lodging. Although we were strangers before I arrived, my hosts welcomed me, showering me with love and hospitality.
As a missionary, the apostle Paul also depended on the support of many churches and believers in Christ (Acts 16:15; Romans 16:23; 2 Corinthians 11:8-9). Some Corinthian believers didn’t want to support Paul, however, because they didn’t consider him to be a true apostle (1 Corinthians 9:1-3).
Expressing his rationale for the right to receive such support, Paul pointed to the marketplace in which workers earned their living (1 Corinthians 9:7). He then noted that the ox treading out grain wasn’t muzzled, but could take a few bites of the grain (1 Corinthians 9:8-9; Deuteronomy 25:4). Likewise, the one serving God as a pastor or teacher was to receive support from other believers so to continue in his efforts to feed the flock. Paul reminded the Corinthians it was the Lord Jesus who commanded that “those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it” (1 Corinthians 9:14).
Let’s remember that “those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them” (Galatians 6:6). Every week, we have the privilege of “[putting] aside a portion of the money [we] have earned” to support our local church and other kingdom work (1 Corinthians 16:2). As we support others who are serving Jesus, we’re serving Him—the One who came to serve and sacrifice His very life for us. Let’s give as God provides.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Mark 6:14-29
Read Romans 15:25-27 to see how the believers in Macedonia and Achaia generously supported the poor among the believers in Jerusalem.
Besides supporting the ministers and ministries of your home church, how else might you support other local and global kingdom-building efforts? How does our generous giving reflect the heart of God?