Happy Tuesday! One day I was shopping in one of my favorite stores. It was an exciting day because the company extended me rights for being a loyal customer. As a loyal customer, I was given a loyalty card to present to any worker in the store. The card gave me the privilege to have a personal shopper, discounts and no waiting in line (priority check out). When I walked in, I knew I had the card that would give me all the rights but when I looked around at the wonderful people who helped me in the past I decided not to use it. As I prepared to checkout, I stood in line and waited patiently for my turn. Then a lady jumped in front of me in the line and demanded the salesperson (who was already helping someone) to finish helping her. The lady being helped and the lady demanding her position back at the counter began to argue. It was an ugly mess. When they were done, “I announced to be honest I should be the one being helped because of my loyalty card” and they looked and asked the salesperson, “is that true?” The representative said, “yes.” Although I had the right to make their wait longer, I decided to remain in line and wait patiently for the two women to finish their transactions. I was taken back by the bitterness each one of them had. In the grand scheme of things did it really matter, was it a life or death situation? Today we will begin in 1 Corinthians chapter 9. In this chapter Paul begins to explain his rights/privilege as an Apostle. Enjoy today’s reading and have a wonderful day.
“Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? 2 Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle.
3 This is my answer to those who question my authority.[a] 4 Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? 5 Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife[b] with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter[c] does? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?” 1 Corinthians 9:1-6 NLT
In these verses Paul asked four rhetorical questions to make his point. His point being, he shouldn’t need to prove himself to the Corinthian church. Paul reminded them that they are his proof, because he shared the gospel message with them – they know his character. Paul continued to drill them with questions on his position as an Apostle, but he did it with examples of what was allowed for other Apostles in the past. Additionally, Paul informed them of his right as an Apostle to be feed and supported by the church, but instead of relying on the church Paul and Barnabas declined their support so that no one could say that they were motivated by money.
Please note, Paul didn’t say it was wrong for Apostles to be supported by the church, it was his and Barnabas decision not to be.
Paul could have easily been supported financially by the church but he decided to work instead. Paul will explain later in the chapters and in 2 Corinthians that his love for God and commitment to share the gospel, is why he freely serves the church and the people.
Questions to ponder on:
- How do you use your rights and privileges as a Christian?
- Why do you serve God?
Father God, thank you for today. Thank you for the privilege to serve you and belong to you. Lord, you have all the authority in the world, yet you came to serve and save. Thank you for saving us. Lord, search our hearts and our motives, and point out anything that offends you. Lord, guide us and our thoughts. Help us to seek your direction as we go throughout the day. Lord, we don’t want to be self-seeking, we want to seek you in all that we do. Lord, we desire to live for you. Be with us and lead us in the way we should go and in the way that we treat others. In Jesus name, amen.
Keep praying! Keep Trusting! Keep believing!
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