1 Corinthians 9:16 (ESV): 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul began addressing the controversy of eating meat that had been offered to idols. Some understood there is only one God and did not see anything wrong to eat such meat. Others felt like they were sinning against God.
Paul laid down the principle of not doing anything to encourage or lead another person to sin, even though that might mean giving up one’s freedoms.
So in 1 Corinthians 9 he used himself as an example. Though he had the right to expect the believers to support him in his ministry, he refused to demand this and worked to supply his own income.
That he might have to work to provide food for himself did not discourage his passion in proclaiming the gospel. Rather, he felt compelled by his call from God to preach.
While ministers of the gospel are often supported today, our calling comes from God. We preach, teach and proclaim the good news because we are compelled by the love of God. It is not wrong to receive something in return, but our passion is not wealth. Our passion is to share the love of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the compelling passion to share the good news of your kingdom. Help me to be faithful in spreading your love today. Amen.