Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk?
Thoughts for Today:One of my first "real" jobs was as a box boy at the local supermarket. I bagged groceries during the day and helped out stocking shelves in the evening. One of my late night duties involved pouring out milk products and juices that had reached their expiration date. I always considered it such a waste -- to pour perfectly good chocolate milk (my personal favorite) -- down the drain. I remember the manager of the department telling me the first day of training, "You can't take any home with you, but you can drink as much as you want while you're doing it -- just make sure you smell it first!" Those nights were my favorite -- despite always going home with a stomach ache.
In the same way, Paul uses multiple analogies to illustrate his point: Soldiers don't have to pay their own way -- their needs are met by the government. Those who work in vineyards, eat freely of the fruit they harvest. Shepherds drink the milk from their flocks. In any kind of profession, workers have the right to their wages. Therefore, isn't it appropriate for ministers to live from the proceeds of preaching the Gospel?
Questions to Ponder:If the Lord were to compensate you today for the wages you have earned while serving Him, what would your paycheck look like? Are you satisfied with your harvest? What have you produced? Is it more like a feast or a famine?