I know you are ready to celebrate this season with your family and loved ones… I know you have bought the rice and live chicken ready to be slaughtered around 6:45am tomorrow morning to ‘grace’ the season with some tantalizing aroma… I know you have planned to go to Shoprite…Sweet sensation… A comedy show…the beach… I know you are ready to enjoy yourself this Christmas…
But can I tell you one person you must NEVER miss to be a blessing to at a time like this? YOUR PASTOR! I mean that person who taught you the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ and you now shout Grace! Grace!!That person who remembers you in prayers…and labours in the WORD for you!
‘…The one who is taught the word is to SHARE ALL GOOD THINGS with the one who teaches him…’ (Gal 6:6)
Is there anyone who you know actually taught you the word this year? You weren’t even able to attend his/her meetings, yet even on social media you were devoted to their teachings and you experienced growth, truth and freedom? Then you have an ‘obligation’ to minister back to that person with MATERIAL things!
‘…If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?…’ (1Cor 9:11)
Hmm… Listen carefully: it is the RIGHT of every true Gospel teacher to be materially furnished by the ones they teach!
Some Gospel teachers even summoned the confidence and took the risk to teach you that TITHING is not a commandment to believers! What a big risk! They just deprived themselves of a sure and regular income! But they held the integrity of the Word…just so that your soul will prosper! This is what the Bible has to say concerning this:
‘…Others demand plenty from you in these ways. Don’t we who HAVE NEVER DEMANDED deserve even MORE? But we’re not going to start demanding now what we’ve always HAD A PERFECT RIGHT TO. Our decision all along has been to put up with anything rather than to get in the way or DETRACT FROM THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST. All I’m concerned with right now is that you not use our decision to take advantage of others, depriving them of what is rightly theirs…’ (1Cor 9:12-13 MSG)
I repeat: it is the RIGHT of every true Gospel teacher to be materially furnished by the ones they teach!
It is not a sin to have the account number of your Pastor. How much more pastors who actually teach you the true gospel of Jesus Christ!
‘…Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of DOUBLE honour, ESPECIALLY THEY WHO LABOUR IN THE WORD AND DOCTRINE…’ (1Tim 5:17)
Be a responsible believer. When you celebrate, remember your pastor too…especially they who labour in the word and doctrine! We don’t see anywhere Jesus demanded for people to give to His earthly ministry! But responsible believers of his time made it a duty to ALWAYS give to Him.
‘…many others who WERE CONTRIBUTING FROM THEIR OWN RESOURCES to support Jesus and his disciples…’ (Luke 8:3 NLT)
Listen: Pastors who don’t demand or coerce you or manipulate you by twisting verses into giving to them…such ministers DESERVE your dedicated support!
Hmm… Am I saying this because I also pastor and teach the gospel? Well, people who are close to me know I’m not poor…and the poor in my neighborhood know that a ‘giver’ is around. But like Paul, it’s good I let you know that every believer has an ACCOUNT with God…which is credited every time you choose to be a blessing to your Teacher of the Word who labours in doctrine so that your soul will prosper! Read carefully:
‘… for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. NOT THAT I DESIRE YOUR GIFTS; WHAT I DESIRE IS THAT MORE BE CREDITED TO YOUR ACCOUNT. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. THEY ARE A FRAGRANT OFFERING, AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE, PLEASING TO GOD. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus…’ (Phil 4:16-19)
It was your pastor you gave to…but it was ‘an acceptable’ sacrifice to God! Hmm… Are all believers BLESSED in Christ? Yes! (Eph 1:3) But… are all believers REWARDED the same in Christ! No! No!! No!!!
‘…The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who PLANTS IN RESPONSE TO GOD, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life…’ (Gal 6:8 MSG)
Therefore, as you celebrate this season, take time out to be a blessing to minister(s) of the Gospel who you know actually labored in the word and doctrine to bring you Growth, Truth and Freedom in Christ Jesus! For this is a ‘…fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God…’ (Phil 4:18)
Merry Christmas and a Grace-filled New year in advance.