For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. 1 Corinthians 9:16-17
I am going to give you the most incredible financial tip you have ever heard. Are you ready? Here it is: If you want to make money in the stock market, then you need to put money into the stock market.
Wasn't that profound? I know, not really. We all know that in order to receive benefit from the stock market we need to make an investment in it. What we might not all recognize, however, is that the principle holds true in spiritual things as well.
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about the issue of finances, and specifically about how they were falling short of their duty and opportunity to invest in the gospel through him. They had received the gospel free of charge as Paul actually picked up a second job making tents in Corinth in addition to building the church. He worked extra hard so they could receive the gospel free of charge.
This was a sacrifice for him. It cost him to do these things, but he did it willingly knowing that God would reward him for it.
Now he wrote to his immature church to teach them the principle by which he had lived while among them. He said, Hey, you can keep freeloading in the gospel, but you won't get the same reward. If you don't invest willingly, then you don't get dividends. And even if you don't want to invest, you have a responsibility in helping to steward the gospel.
He wanted them to know that the money issue was not about him. He wasn't trying to get rich off of them. Instead, he was trying to increase their reward from God.
What is the attitude of your heart in giving to your church? Do you think it's all just for selfish pastors and over-the-top building projects? Think again. This is about you investing in the gospel and setting yourself up for rewards in Heaven.
Prayer Lord Jesus,
Thank You for investing Your life for me! Teach me the right attitude to have in giving to my church. I choose to have a generous heart that invests in Your gospel.