Read 1 Timothy 5:17-18 (KJV and NLT).
I believe we’ve all been informed that the past week was observed in appreciation of the resident minster and his family. This morning is the climax of the week, and we will give an offering to the man of God and his family.
The scripture we have just read is giving a justification for what we have been doing during the week and climaxing today. It says the elders who serve well are worthy of double honor. I tried to look for the Greek word used for honor, and I found that it means “value expressed in terms of money paid.” So, to honor the man of God connotes the kind of value you put on him and his life and how much you are willing to pay for it. That same word means “to esteem.” It also means “dignity.” How much dignity do you ascribe to your pastor? So, if the pastor who serves well is worthy of double honor, then he is worthy of double of any honor you can place on anyone. He is worthy of a double portion of the esteem that you accord any person. That is what the Bible says. The same word means “the precious price you place on someone.” So, it is important that believers understand that the Bible enjoins us to place honor, and a double portion of it, on our pastors, spiritual leaders, and our elders.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:12, we are admonished to honor those who are our leaders in the Lord’s work because they work hard among us and give us spiritual guidance.
In verse 18 of 1 Timothy 5, he continues to say that the we should honor them because the scripture says you should not muzzle the ox that treads corn and the laborer deserves his pay.
Do not muzzle the ox that treads the grain
This scripture was quoted from Deuteronomy 25:4. In 1 Corinthians 9:9, the apostle quotes it again. In the Levitical priesthood, the priests were not supposed to work. When the land was being apportioned, the Levites were not given a portion. In The Church of Pentecost, we have also instituted measures for taking care of our men of God and one of them is what we are observing today. If the man of God has sacrificed everything that he had and has accepted to be a fulltime pastor and his work is to study the word of God and feed you with it and to spend all his time praying for you and seeking your welfare—when you are sick he visits you and prays for you; when you have a problem he has a problem; he seeks your welfare—then you should see to it that he is taken care of. When he is praying for you while he has needs; when he is feeding you while he is hungry… The Bible says it is a wicked thing to cover the mouth of an ox as it treads grain, preventing it from eating some of it. It is not allowed.
The last sentence of verse 18 says those who work deserve their pay. Do we have a pastor who works among us? If you have a pastor who is seated in his seat by the time you come to church; he is organizing prayer meetings; he encourages you; when the year begins he says “Power to begin”—he is praying, teaching, interceding for your needs. The Bible says such a person is working and he deserves to be paid. And Jesus emphasized it so much. It was very important for him so he laid emphasis on it. in Matthew 10:10 when he sent his disciples to go out and preach, he asked them not to take anything along and not to hesitate to accept hospitality because those who work deserve to be fed. In Luke 10:7 the same thing is repeated.
To Jesus, to work as a minster is to go and preach to the people, teaching them, praying for them, healing the sick, working all kinds of miracles. That is your work and, as long as you do it, you deserve to be paid.
Read 1 Corinthians 9:4-15.
No solder buys his ammunition and clothes and food. Once you stand as a soldier for the nation, the nation provides for everything you need. In our nation, most of the solders live in the barracks and everything they need is provided for by the state. People of God, that is how the pastor is. As long as he enlists to do the work of the Lord in fulltime ministry, he is not supposed to take care of himself. The farmer who farms, having tilled the land, isn’t he entitled to enjoy some of the fruit of the land? So, if your pastor ministers to you and you are blessed, aren’t you supposed to remember him? if he takes care of a flock, isn’t he entitled to some of the milk?
So, isn’t your pastor entitled to some of your salary? Isn’t he entitled to some of your profit? I pray that you have will understanding. The apostle Paul when he finished asked if this was just his opinion and not the word of God. He quoted directly from the word of God. As your spiritual leader leads you, he should expect a share of the harvest.
If the minister stops all secular work and serves in the temple, then it is from this same temple he must get his meals. We do this once in a long while when the pastor is on transfer but left to me, it would have been done more often. We take many offerings but it is time to take an offering for the one who works in the temple as well. Paul said all these because people were examining him and asking questions. He ended by saying he was not going to use that right he had but it is the right thing for us to do.
If we obey the Lord and do these things, a lot of blessings come with it. I remember many years ago, more than 10 years ago, we had a pastor. One morning, my wife and I were going to work together. My wife told me to go buy rice, provisions, this and that so we would go and visit the pastor. I asked, “Do you know my pocket?” She replied that she felt that was what we had to do. After work I went for her and we went to visit the pastor. When we got his house and I started taking the things out, the pastor asked me, “Evans, how did you know that we needed a bag of rice? This whole week my wife has been telling me that we need it.” That changed my perspective from that time. During the week I shared another experience where I gave to a man of God a few dollars and I started earning in dollars.
As we do this the Lord will bless us. He will bless the work of our hands. He will increase us even as we obey his word this morning.
1 Timothy 5:17-18, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, Deuteronomy 25:4, 1 Corinthians 9:4-15, Matthew 10:10, Luke 10:7