3 Minute Devotional: 1 Corinthians 9:4-7


Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? Don’t we have the right to bring a Christian wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter[b] does? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?

What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard anddoesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk?

(9:4). Paul says, “We, not to mention you should be ashamed of this confident boasting.” Paul had much confidence in the Corinthians but also let them know of their responsibility that came with that respect and status.(9:5).  Here, Paul gives the Corinthians ample time to prepare their gift. The word for “thought” can mean to esteem, or to reckon. Paul used solid logic in his decision to exhort the believers who were sent ahead to the Corinthians. The word used for “exhort” means to call to one’s side, comfort, beseech or to give consolation. Paul not only instructed them but also gave comfort and encouragement. Paul equipped them before they went to their task. The word used for “bounty” means to bless, fully satisfy, or a good work or an action of God. This was a reminder to the Corinthians of the things they had been blessed with in their life.

(9:6). Paul lays out the formula for giving. He uses an illustration from farming. That is sowing and reaping. The measure in which one gives or sows will be the measure of return in either blessings or crops. The word for “bountifully” means to bless. God will bless him who gives to bless in return. This concept uses the previous verse as a springboard. Paul speaks of giving out of a grateful heart. In this verse Paul describes the effects of right or wrong giving.

(9:7). Paul clearly lines out the particular motives in which people give. There are those who give “grudgingly” or out of “necessity” and what is called, “cheerful” givers. The word for “necessity” means to compress, bind hard, as the opposite of willingness. These are those who give because they know they are supposed to. It may be out of obligation to the church or in light of the scriptural command to do so. However, these givers lack the elements that are present in a spirit filled believer’s giving. This verse very clearly states that God “loves” a cheerful giver. This is the person who realizes the effects of giving and in the attitude in which it is performed and also delights in providing for other believers and obeying the will of God.

What does it mean to be blessed in today's culture? How does that line up with the blessings of God?  How can you thank God today specifically?