Psalm 120-122 1 Corinthians 9
“So what reward do I get? This is my reward: that when I tell the Good News I can offer it freely. I do not use my full rights in my work of preaching the Good News.” (1 Corinthians 9:18 NCV)
Christians seem to do a great job of finding reasons to attack each other instead of building each other up. In Chapter 9, Paul had to defend his status as an apostle and the fact that rather than gaining material goods for proclaiming the gospel, he was preaching for free. I think Americans are a lot like the Corinthians. If someone does something for free, we’re suspicious. Either they’re out to get something, or they aren’t really that good. After all, “you get what you pay for.” When the Corinthians relayed their concerns to Paul, he defended himself, noting that he’d seen Jesus and that he had a right to earn a living from proclaiming the gospel, he just chose to proclaim it freely. For Paul, the proclamation of the gospel without charge was its own reward.
What do you do freely? What do you do that you could expect payment for in other circumstances, but you do it because it’s the right thing to do and you feel great having that opportunity to serve. A friend who retired at the end of the last school year noted how much she would miss the kids on this, our first day of school. It doesn’t need to be that way. Tutoring and mentoring are options. In most cases, it may even cost you to serve – but it’s worth it. Most service in the church is volunteer work. Sunday School teachers, nursery workers, choir members, and other volunteer work in the church has great value and worth, although the work is not paid. Our society has placed such an undue value on money that we’ve lost touch with the important things of life. There’s no greater calling than the call to serve. When Jesus came to earth, He served. There are so many ways to serve in church, in the school system, and in so many other areas of our world. The key is that you recognize that your service is to God first and realize that the benefits He pays for serving are so much greater than money. Experience the joy and satisfaction you get from helping others. Make today the day you begin to volunteer, offering your services freely, knowing that ultimately, you’re serving the King of Kings.
Lord, You’ve told us that whatever we do for the least of people on the earth, we do for You. Give me a heart to serve You by serving others. Help me to find ways to serve You by serving the people You love.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved