As I prepare my heart and mind for entering back into 1 Corinthians at church, I decided to go back and reread the book on my own time . . . just me, my bible, and the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 9.
I can’t stop thinking about Paul’s perspective on preaching the gospel.
“15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:15-18)
Paul was not being paid for his work in preaching the gospel, though he should’ve been. He had a right to be! But, he wanted his ministry to be one of purity and simple devotion to just one thing . . . proclaiming Christ. Paul ministered freely and willingly from his heart. He did not want to be accused of preaching for any.other.reason. Not money, not fame, not popularity. But solely for the purpose of making Christ known!
That’s all he wanted to be said of him. A man faithful to proclaiming Christ.
Paul preached because he wanted to. He tells us even if he didn’t want to, he would still be entrusted with the stewardship of sharing the gospel.
Have you ever considered your stewardship of the gospel? You have been given the greatest gift on this earth, with freedom to share with everyone. How sacrificially generous are you being toward others by sharing Christ?
When I was teaching full time, I used to think that was my job . . . teaching. To teach kids how to read, learn math, be organized, etc. I realize now . . . No it wasn’t. That was my side job. My real job was to love and share Christ with 25 children 180 days out of the year!
Our real work is to be a good steward of the gospel. The LORD has given us our workplaces, our neighborhoods, and our family rooms to do just that.
Paul viewed preaching the gospel as both his work and his reward. Do you?
Do you work hard at proclaiming Christ?
Or is it something you view as an obligation?
Do you find your reward in getting to tell people about Jesus?
Or do you find your reward in success, home, money, family, or other things?
Isn’t that a beautiful and mysteriously simple purpose for life? To proclaim Christ. To view preaching the gospel as your work and as your reward?
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)