Show Your Love

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.


This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?


Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does He not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope, and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?


Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.


But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What, then, is my reward? That in my preaching, I may present the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.


1 Corinthians 9:1-18





God expects us to celebrate men or women of God or anybody who lends leadership to our lives in any shape or form. It is biblical for us to communicate our love and appreciation to them.


For some of us, the greatest celebration of our life could be in our death. But sometimes the greatest words spoken about us are spoken over us.


We need to change the narrative. If we’ve been blessed by someone through their words, deeds, or ministry, let’s not wait to say so. Let’s not wait to show our love.


God gives us the latitude to pass out honor while the glory goes up.


It’s our job to celebrate and tangibly honor those who mean something to us.


Tell Me You Love Me


Love, by definition, means to hold one in the highest regard and to have the highest form of concern with demonstration. The highest form of love is not affection. It’s sacrifice. Jesus shows that to all of us.


Paul says in the passage that it’s not about whether or not the person wants to be honored. It is our heart that should demonstrate an understanding of the fact that a person has value to us.


We might not be able to give them all that they’re worth, but we ought to try to demonstrate in some way that they mean something to us and provide them with something meaningful to us.


If there’s somebody in your life that means something to you, communicate that love.



Act Like You Love Me


In verses 15-18, Paul shares the hope that you would know this truth. No matter what you are doing, you should at least have this part of His Word in your head: God expects you to sow if you’ve been blessed.


You see, it’s not about whether or not someone needs something. It’s about, first of all, having the heart to say we want to honor someone who has given his entire life to the lives of others. It’s not about if that person needs anything. It’s about our need to demonstrate our appreciation for someone.


When someone has loved and served and given, the worst thing you can do is try to assess what they have already received. That’s the wrong spirit and the wrong attitude. Instead, you should be thinking, “What do I owe you because of what you mean to me?” It’s not about their need. It’s about your need to give a gift.



“If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?


Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.”


1 Corinthians 9:12


Paul says to have that same spirit for someone who shares and sows spiritually.



Show Me You Love Me


Do you recall Jesus and the ten lepers in Luke 17? Jesus healed all ten lepers, yet only one came back to thank Jesus for healing him. Remember Jesus asked where were the other nine? He expects that when we are blessed, we not only speak our love, but tangibly communicate that love.


“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and “The laborer deserves his wages.” 1 Timothy 5:17-18


Those who go over and above, let’s also meet them over and above. Don’t try to figure out how to do less. Have the heart to figure out how to meet them at the level they’re operating at.


The elders who direct the affairs of EBC are well worthy of double honor. If EBC has blessed you, if you’ve been blessed by the vision, leadership, and service of Dr. Craig Oliver, if there’s a sermon he preached, a word he shared that changed you, he is worthy of double honor.


Paul says in this passage that if you sow spiritual things, you should also be able to sow natural things because you receive physical results from spiritual things.


So today, and whenever you get the chance, show your love.


You may not necessarily have anything material, but you can have the heart and the right mindset, like Paul; and when your ship does come in, don’t forget whoever has been a blessing to you.

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