In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
Thoughts for Today:In Matthew 10:9-10 Jesus said, as He sent His disciples out: "Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts--no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep." The King James Version reads: "...for the workman is worthy of his meat." In our passage today, Paul refers to this command.
I think it's important to realize this concept of ministerial support is not man's idea -- it is the Lord's. God decided and instituted the practice of a minister being supported by the ones to whom he ministers. The Lord could have chosen any number of other ways, but He chose this one. Why? One reason is explained by Paul in Philippians 4:17: "Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account." Paul is saying that those who support the Gospel also participate in the rewards that come to the minister. As a result, the people receiving ministry would miss a gigantic blessing if the Lord supplied the needs of the minister in some other way.
There is one other subtle concept presented in these verses -- it's the incentive for a minister to do a good job. Think about it. If a minister isn't ministering very much, very often, or very well, then their financial support goes away. This shouldn't be a minister's primary motivation for doing a good job, but it is certainly one they can understand.
Questions to Ponder:Are you receiving the blessing God intended through your financial support of ministers and their mission efforts? Will you begin today? What can the Lord credit to your account?