Giving Up Your Rights

Description

Living for God is more valuable than all of your rights and possessions.

Pray:

Father, thank You for Your grace and Your goodness, Your mercy and love.

Read:

1 CORINTHIANS 9:1-18

Reflect:

What is Paul's challenge to the readers?

In the previous chapter, Paul asked the Corinthians not to exercise their rights since they were causing detriment to others. Here, Paul describes how he has given up rights, and points to his conduct both as a model for believers and as a means of defending his approach to ministry.

First Paul lists his rights (3-6); then he states the reasons for his rights (7-12). The key right in contention is his right to material and financial support from the Corinthian church. Paul's work was motivated by a higher aim than money, and he did not exercise his rights when he worked among the Corinthians. The turning point comes in verse 15 where he fully renounces his rights, both for the past and the present. He would rather give up his rights, and be weak, than take any chance of having the motive driving his work misconstrued. The Gospel takes priority over personal benefit.

Letting go of personal benefit can be difficult. Paul finds his reward in not being rewarded. That way, his ministry to the Corinthians can be a free gift, like the Gospel. Living for God is more valuable than all of your rights and possessions.

Apply:

Have you ever denied yourself something for the sake of another person? What was the result?

Pray:

Father, thank You that You are near to us. You are near to Your children as we call.

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