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Freely receive, freely give

Rev Enoch Thompson | March 24, 2023 | Matthew 10:5-11

KEY VERSE:

Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8 (NIV)


MESSAGE:

It is commonplace practice in some “church” environments for those attending to have to pay consultation fees, or for preachers to charge inviting churches for the services they offer. Some “church leaders” have refused to attend to the prayer and other spiritual needs of people or have offered their gifts to those who can pay the highest fees. Ministry has become business, the making of profit by the exchange of goods and services. Business thinking is a normal and sometimes natural mode, for most people. People are smart enough to see opportunities for self-profiting by the use of the spiritual resources and gifts they may possess. And when the Lord gave authority to the Twelve to preach the Good News, to heal the sick, to cast out demons, and to raise the dead, He also foresaw the danger into which they may fall if they were not cautioned not to make a business out of their empowerment and their assignment.


Business in itself is not evil, but in the matter of the Kingdom of God and its spread, it is wrong for us to put a price on our ministry services. The principle is that we have received freely of whatever we put back into ministry, and therefore we must give of it freely.


While we are all called to pursue the agenda of the Great Commission, there are some who by divine giftings and callings commit themselves to full-time ministry. How would such servants of the Kingdom survive, then? This question was not forgotten by the Master. Kingdom workers must be taken care of by Kingdom resources, but not at a commercial value. Kingdom citizens must support Kingdom workers; "Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave.” Matt 10:11 (NIV). This principle in practice means that the full-time Kingdom worker must be provided for by committed capable and willing Kingdom finances and financiers. It also means that such workers do not take advantage of their entitlement and become a bother to other people. In fact, in the Gospel according to Luke, there is a prohibition added to the instruction: “Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” Luke 10:7 (NIV).


In a modern economy, the principle stands that those who work for the Kingdom on a full-time basis must be provided for sufficiently, so that they can focus on the strenuous tasks of preaching, teaching, healing, caring for souls and generally promoting the Kingdom agenda. Those who give the impression that full-time ministry is not important do not know what it involves and have not understood the biblical provisions for such. Full-time ministry is a serious spiritual business. It is the creation of excellent humans who benefit others in society and bring glory to God. Paul argues, “If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 1 Cor 9:11 (NIV). (Please read the chapter for further insight).


It is the demand of the King of the Kingdom of God, that our work of ministry must be delivered free of charge, while structures are put in place by the Church to ensure that those who spend all their time in serving the Kingdom cause are well taken care of.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

Are you tempted to commercialize your spiritual gifts? Say no to those temptations. Will you be the voice that speaks up for the full-time workers in your church context about their conditions of service? For all other things, remember that we have freely received from God, and we are to freely give unto other people.


PRAYER:

Lord, please make me aware of my gifts and talents. Help me engage them for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Please keep me from the sin of making a business out of your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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