Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News! If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust. What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News.1 Corinthians 9:15-18
Preaching and serving without charge was like a badge of office to Paul. He didnt want to compromise that aspect of his ministry. Paul had such a passion for the Gospel of God. Take note of verses 16 and 17. “I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News! . . . I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust.” Paul is like many Old Testament prophets for whom the Word of God burned within them and they could not help but let it out. He couldn’t imagine doing this for a living. He is compelled by the love of Christ and the Good News that lives within him to share it. Free of charge. There is never a hint about Paul that he is in this for the money. In fact Paul talks to the Corinthians about those who profiteer from theWord of God, or peddle the Word of God for profit (2 Cor 2:17). Unlike them, Paul is very careful not to even caste the hint of such things where he and Barnabus are concerned. It is this that makes Paul say he would rather die than lose his right to (boast about) preaching without charge.
I should not say much more on this topic. It is something that can get me going. There are those who place a franchise on the Word of God because they sense a profit in it. This is why there are only certain translations of the Bible in English available freely because the versions that have become popular are held in franchise by profiteerers. I will stop with these few comments before I climb on to my hobby horse (well one of them). Tell me, do you have a hobby horse or two? Something you feel passionately about and which can get you going if people touch the right buttons? I hope so, it proves there is life inside.
Paul was willing to suffer personal loss to not compromise the stand he took on the Word of God. Would you do the same? Are there things that you feel so strongly about that you are willing to take a hit for the sake of preserving your stand or your value system? It is a rare thing in a world where values are up for grabs to the highest bidder.
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. Be true to yourself.Andre Gide
Jesus is NOT my crutch – I’m FAR MORE DEPENDENT on Him that that! I can’t even guarantee my next breath without God’s grace.Rick Warren