The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

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2 Cor:11: And when I was with you and didn’t have enough to live on, I did not become a financial burden to anyone. For the brothers who came from Macedonia brought me all that I needed. I have never been a burden to you, and I never will be[1]

As we saw yesterday, Paul didn’t want to be a burden as he began to plant a church in Corinth. He humbled himself and worked as a tent maker to support himself. This went on until Timothy and Silas returned from Macedonia, or northern Greece. They brought funds from the churches there that allowed Paul to go back to preaching full time.

But how do reconcile what Paul did with what Jesus told His disciples when He sent them out? Matt. 10: 10 Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed. Basically, Jesus is telling His followers that they should be paid as they work for Him.  

The clue to the answer is in our passage for today. The churches in Macedonia sent funds. These would have been Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. These were brand new churches that Paul had planted only months earlier. If we assume Paul didn’t charge the people there as he planted the church, something has changed. Now that they are churches, they seem to be supporting their leaders and reaching out to support Paul.

Paul, himself, gives more explanation in 1 Cor. 9: For it is written in the law of Moses: You should never put a muzzle over the mouth of an ox while he is treading out the grain.

Tell me, is God only talking about oxen here? 10 Doesn’t he also give us this principle so that we won’t withhold support from his workers? It was written so that we would understand that the one spiritually “plowing” and spiritually “treading out the grain” also labors with the expectation of enjoying the harvest. 11 So, if we’ve sowed many spiritual gifts among you, is it too much to expect to reap material gifts from you? 12 And if you have supported others, don’t we rightfully deserve this privilege even more?

But as you know, we haven’t used that right. Instead, we have continued to support ourselves so that we would never be a hindrance to the spread of the gospel of Christ.[2]

How well do you support your pastor? Pastors not only need financial support but encouragement along the way.

To hear more about Paul in Corinth, listen here:

[1] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.

[2] The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.

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