“I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” (II Cor. 12:15).
The true man of God will faithfully serve the congregation which the Lord has entrusted to him without thought of reward. Like Paul, he will “gladly spend and be spent” for them even if his toil and sacrifice go unappreciated. Where the congregation is too small to support him fully he will cheerfully engage in enough secular work to supply the deficiency. This is as it should be for, in ministering to his people, he is serving God.
But there is another side to this coin, for Christian assemblies should appreciate the ministries of their pastors in their behalf. This is especially so where the minister gives himself unstintingly for his flock.
It is a sad fact that too many pastors are grossly underpaid. Most of the members of the congregation would not be willing to live on the low economic level on which they keep their pastor and his family living for years on end. He must be willing to sacrifice, but they must not be deprived of any of the luxuries to which they are accustomed. They do not realize how discouraging it can be for the pastor and his family to constantly have to do without, while the better- off members of the congregation hardly notice.
This is why the Apostle Paul reproved the Corinthians and declares: “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (I Cor. 9:14). And this, too, is why he wrote to the large-hearted Philippians:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction ….Not that I desire a gift, but I desire fruit that may abound to your account” (Phil. 4:13-17).
Where true, Bible-believing pastors are concerned, let’s not be Corinthians; let’s be Philippians.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.