I once worked as a carpenter. When we decided to move out of state, I notified my boss of my last day at work. I had hoped he would have a check waiting for me at the job site, but he did not. Instead, he told me he would mail the check for my last week of wages. When I left that day, I had the sense I would never see that money, and I didn’t. For all practical purposes, he knowingly and intentionally stole money from me that was properly due because I had worked for it.
I have known preachers who faithfully pastored their churches for decades while working both in ministry and in secular jobs simply to support their family. These jobs have included sales, carpentry, painting, printing, janitorial, window washing, self-employment, and more. These men have continued in ministry, often receiving little or nearly nothing, because they are serving the Lord and willingly serving the Lord’s people. It is a great wrong when those receiving ministry fail to do their utmost to financially support those who invest their time, abilities, and faithfulness to minister to them. The Apostle Paul told the believers at Corinth that he had “preached to you the gospel of God freely” (II Corinthians 11:7). But he still had to eat, so he said, “I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service” (vs. 8). Paul did not literally rob other believers, but he did in the sense that he allowed dedicated believers from other locations to support him while those at Corinth, whom he was ministering to, did not. We wouldn’t expect a mechanic, doctor, repairman, or painter to work on our behalf, without paying them. To do so would essentially be stealing from them. Yet, all too often, believers do not do all they can to pay those who minister to them. Paul asked, “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things” (I Corinthians 9:11)? From Melchisedec to present day preachers of divine truth, God’s design has always been for those receiving ministry to adequately financially support those who minister to them (I Corinthians 9:7-14).
Are you following God’s design by doing the best you can to financially support those who minister to you? If not, now is the time to correct this wrong. If you have been paying them adequately, keep doing the right thing.
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