Preach the Gospel

1 Corinthians 9:15-18

15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.


Tax Season

It’s Tax Season! Have you filed your income tax returns yet? Have you discovered your privileges as tax payers? How much tax refund did you receive?

It’s published that with the current property tax law one property in the city had tax refund of more than a million dollar. Now, the government proposed a flat $1,500.00 property tax credit for every home. Maybe in 2025, expect to pay more property taxes if your annual pay property tax is more than $3,000.00.

Lesson: During election, know the tax plan of candidates you wish to vote.

We benefit to continually pray that God grants wisdom to government authorities.

Together, let us reflect on what the Lord instructed in Jeremiah 29:7-8,

 7“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says.

Can you simply accept that God established elected officials as authorities for our nation? If so, then, regularly pray that God grants wisdom to elected officials so that they’ll govern honestly and responsibly. Government authorities need wisdom to design highways and build roads better. What is your opinion?

Better infrastructures attract investors. More investors expand more job opportunities. If our city prospers, we prosper. We pray for our government; it’s better than to complain about ugly road. May God bless all authorities to serve for the best of our nation! May God bless our city to be peaceful and prosperous!

May God inspire government officials to set aside animosity among them and work collaboratively for peace and prosperity and betterment of our nation!

Likewise, may God empower our church leaders and all church attendees! May all of us hear very clearly the plan of the Lord for us and his church! We pray Lord, and claim peace and prosperity for our city and nation! We also pray Lord, and claim that your mighty power will be more manifested among us. Amen!

1.  Claim

15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 

Previously, Apostle Paul addressed the church division problem in Corinth. Some Corinthians said that they followed Apollos as their leaders; others say that they followed Cephas or Peter; others were loyal to Paul, and still others say that they followed Christ. The Corinthian church supported preachers they listened to.

Church leaders who were loyal to Apostle Paul may have suggested that they also send ministry support to the mission team of Apostle Paul; it is possible that others disagreed since they have not personally known or heard from Paul. Apostle Paul and his mission team started; they planted the church of Corinth. He wrote that they had more right of church support, but did not claim such right.

Clearly, he revealed in his letter that it was not his intention to pressure the Corinthians to send them their rightful support from the church. Paul claimed that his mission team did not require the church of Corinth to support them. And if he had to choose, he would choose death rather than receiving support from them.

What did Apostle Paul imply? It was his personal decision not to claim his right of support from the church of Corinth. He wanted that his testimony served as practical proof that the grace of God is sufficient for him to sustain his ministry.

Actually, Apostle Paul wrote another letter to the church in Corinth in which he testified how the Lord himself told him that his grace is sufficient for him.

Prayerfully, we can learn from what Apostle Paul testified of what the Lord told him in 2 Corinthians 12:9, 9The Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Have you personally experienced it, if the grace of God is sufficient for you even when situations or circumstances won’t agree with what you actually wish?

Oscar Wilde, John Lennon, Fernando Sabino or Paulo Coelho

Have you heard of these life perspectives that popular celebrities shared? Oscar Wilde, John Lennon, Fernando Sabino or Paulo Coelho declared: “Everything is going to be fine in the end; if it’s not fine, it’s not the end. Everything is OK in the end; if it’s not OK, it’s not the end. Everything will be all right in the end; so if it is not all right, it is not yet the end. Everything works out in the end. If it didn’t, it’s because it has not come to an end yet.”

Such advice is comforting but is it biblically true? If it is not biblically true, then, it could be applicable to someone else but not absolutely for everyone else. What shall we advise someone to be sure that everything works out in the end?

Life on earth is partial glimpse of eternity. We have wonderful experiences as well as suffering. We appreciate pleasant situations, and we abhor unpleasant situations. In this world, both desirable and undesirable moments are temporary. But in eternity, you will either have forever enjoyment of life or forever torture. To be sure that everything will be fine in the end, we trust Christ as Lord and Savior.

By faith, we believe that Christ will return and take us into heaven. Until then, we have to be sure that we sincerely and honestly practice faith in him. Our behavior should practically prove if we trust Christ. It says in Ephesians 6:6-8 (ESV), Not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free.

Wholehearted obedience to his will manifests Christ as Lord of our life. To expect rewards from him for good behavior is also a practice of faith in him.

May his Holy Spirit empowers, inspires and compels us to testify for Christ.

2.  Compel

16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 

The Holy Spirit of Christ empowers how to preach his gospel; he also gives spiritual gifts as tool or instrumental guide how we should accomplish his will. Do you know your spiritual gift? Search online for questionnaires to discover spiritual gifts. They are helpful; you can try them yourselves sometime. Still, be prayerful! It would be much better if you personally and clearly hear the voice of the Lord.

Apostle Paul knew very well that he was called to preach the gospel. He testified about the Lord in Acts 22:17-21, 17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

Apostle Paul was very certain that he’s preacher to the Gentiles. Indeed, the Lord gave him ministry success among the Gentiles; in contrast, his ministry among Jewish people had attracted fierce oppositions from synagogue leaders. The Lord expects fruitfulness from all his disciples. Can you strongly agree?

Together, let us reflect on what Christ our Lord challenged in John 15:5-8.

          “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Spiritual gifts are essential to fruitfulness. Christ has particularly prepared the ministry he wants us to participate. By faith, we can expect involvement in his work will be rewarded. If are not sure yet, be prayerful and ask confirmation from the Lord. For starter, participate in ministries that may attract your attention.

We can also learn from Mary and Martha about which service is better in the eyes of the Lord. Together, let’s reflect on what it narrated in Luke 10:39-42:

           39Martha had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.

She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was preparing for dinner alone; she wanted Mary to help her. She was worried and upset. Christ told her that few things are needed, or only one is needed. Mary chose to listen to him. It was better than all worries of preparation that upset Martha. What? Listening to Jesus is better than preparing for food?

Christ did not reject the preparation for food that caused Martha worried or upset about. Actually, it’s good to serve Jesus, but Mary chose the better service, to listen to him. What did Christ imply? When serving Christ worries or upsets us, it’s better to pay attention to him first. Why? There’s joy and peace doing his will.

During the earlier year of his ministry, Apostle Paul may have insisted and preached among the Jewish people. Why? He’s not very sure of his calling yet.   Particularly, the Lord called Paul as apostle and preacher to the Gentiles.

When Paul tried to minister to Jewish people in Jerusalem, he attracted fierce opposition from Jewish leaders. He had not planted a church in Jerusalem. But when he focused on Gentile people, he established a number of churches.

The Lord patiently guided Apostle Paul in his missionary journeys; Paul personally proved that the grace of God was sufficient for him and his ministry endeavors. God’s grace is amazing when we attentively listen to the Lord on how we serve him. Apostle Paul testified in Philippians 4:12-13, 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

In plenty or in need, the Lord himself inspires contentment in life. Have you personally experienced contentment in plenty or in need? What commitment to the Lord do you have personally? What may prevent you from taking a step of faith and obey the Lord through and through? Surely, we want comfortable life.

It’s good to have comfortable life, even temporary. But when you get out of your comfort zone, you will certainly prove that amazing grace of God is sufficient for everyone else who seriously commit all their life serving him. Personally pray which ministry God prepared for you specifically, and commit with all your heart.

3.  Commit

17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.

Imagine Apostle Paul smiling while he wrote this letter to the Corinthians! He may have been thinking how great his reward that the Lord prepared for his obedience of voluntarily preaching the gospel. That was his personal reason why he did not require the church in Corinth to send support to his mission team, even if some Corinthians who were loyal to him may have wanted to support him.

Church attendees have opportunities to serve the Lord voluntarily. Apostle Paul exemplified serving the Lord without compensation in contrast to preachers who receive regular salaries. Pastors accept salaries as practical proof that they will remain committed in the church. Apostle Paul did not require church support from the Corinthians; and so, he had freedom to go wherever the Lord sent him.

Apostle Paul boasted about their self-supporting effort in 1 Thessalonians 2:9,

9Remember… our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.

Working night and day for personal and family finances is ordinary activity for every person, but to find time serving the Lord in his ministry is impressive.


One ordinary day, someone testified, “I have numerous big time clients in the city, and I planned for international expansion of my businesses! I am always busy throughout the week. I love fishing but I cannot even find time to go fishing. My children and grandchildren, my family, they are important, you know!” Well, he did not mention it verbally, but he implied that he is successful in business.

It is nice to have abundance of wealth and have comfortable life. Comfort or struggle in life, we all leave those things behind on day. Well, it is not killjoy to be mindful that everything on earth is temporal. Let’s reflect on Psalm 49:16-20:

16Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; 17for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them. 18Though while they live they count themselves blessed—and people praise you when you prosper—19they will join those who have gone before them, who will never again see the light of life. 20People who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish.

Surely, anyone who has the Holy Spirit of God understands and takes to heart this biblical reality of life. Enjoy your temporal life on earth, but be mindful of your eternal life in heaven. Going to work, school, grocery, or just hang around the park, always keep in mind that the Lord is recording all activities, including tears you may have shed while praying for salvation of your love ones.

Pray and ask God for discernment for you to personally notice it when he presents divine opportunities of sharing the gospel of Christ or testifying of your personal transformation ever since you trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Pray for stronger faith and godly wisdom and commit to serve the Lord.

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