WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 06, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T PREACH THE WORD OF GOD FOR MONEY
BY T. O. BANSO
“For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 New King James Version).
People have different motives and motivations for what they do. They could be right or wrong, or good or bad. Sometimes, people can do the right thing with a wrong motive, and others may notice this or not unless such people tell them. The Gospel ministry is not exempted from this.
For example, the Apostle Paul said some people preached Christ from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill (Philippians 1:15). Anyone who was not aware of the wrong motive of those who preached Christ from envy and strife could be commending their zeal and efforts. Although Paul was aware of their wrong motive, he wasn’t bothered by it. He just wanted Christ to be preached.
He said, “The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice” (Philippians 1:16-18 New King James Version). But God knows the heart of everyone and He is the rewarder. How sad it would be to labour so much in the ministry and miss heavenly reward because of a wrong motive or motivation!
David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24 New King James Version). In Psalm 26:2, he asked the LORD to examine him and prove him and try his mind and heart. Similarly, Job said he should be weighed on honest scales so that God might know his integrity (Job 31:6). The truth is that God does not need to find out anything; He already knows. He knows what is in your heart; He knows your motive and motivation.
It is bad to do the work of God with the wrong motive or motivation. One of the things a servant of God must avoid is preaching the Word of God for money. Indeed, Jesus said that the labourer is worthy of his wages (Luke 10:7b). In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul quoting Deuteronomy 25:4 and the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 10:7b also said, “‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages’” (New King James Version).
Paul also said in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14, “Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel” (New King James Version). These scriptures show that preachers or ministers of God should be paid for the work they do.
Nevertheless, a servant of God must avoid the temptation of becoming a hireling – someone motivated by money. His salary, honorarium, or gifts from people, should not be the motivation for preaching. It would be wrong for anyone to even go to the extreme of asking for a specific amount before he would preach. Jesus said freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8).
The Bible says of Jerusalem in the day of the Prophet Micah, “Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD, and say, ‘Is not the LORD among us? No harm can come upon us’” (Micah 3:11 New King James Version).
Under no guise should a servant of God preach for money. He should not go to preach somewhere because of the likelihood of being given a big honorarium or reject another invitation because he may be given a small honorarium. That doesn’t mean people should not give a servant of God an appropriate honorarium because, as seen earlier, the labourer deserves his wages. But money should not determine where and how a servant of God ministers.
Paul said, “For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 New King James Version). In Paul’s day, many preachers peddled the Word of God but in sincerity as from God, he spoke in the sight of God in Christ. Their focus was money, not the truth and souls. Therefore, they adulterated the Word of God; they corrupted it.
What does it mean to peddle the Word of God? It means to preach for personal profit (New Living Translation), market the Word of God for profit (Christian Standard Bible), try to get rich from preaching God’s message (Contemporary English Version), and commercialize God’s Word (International Standard Version).
It also means to make a trade of the Word of God (Darby’s Translation), make use of the Word of God for profit (Bible in Basic English), make profit out of God’s Message (Twentieth Century New Testament), and traffic in the word of God (Montgomery’s New Testament).
In addition, to peddle the Word of God means to corrupt the Word of God (American Standard Version) and adulterate the Word of God (Literal Standard Version; Young’s Literal Translation). Because of money, some preachers preach an adulterated Word of God.
Don’t preach an adulterated Word of God because of money; preach the truth. Avoid greed or covetousness. Warning the church about the false teachers who would come, the Apostle Peter said that in their greed, they would make up clever lies to get hold of the money of believers, but God condemned them long ago and their destruction would not be delayed (2 Peter 2:3). Don’t be one of such false teachers.
Don’t handle the Word of God deceitfully because of money. Paul said of himself, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2 New King James Version).
Examine your heart. Are you preaching for or because of money? Beware of the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). A servant of God should not be greedy for money (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7). Be a servant of God, not a servant of money! Don’t let money control you. Don’t preach the Word of God just for money. You could be given money after you have preached but don’t let money be your focus, motive, or motivation. But you can sometimes give up your right for payment and preach freely or without charge as Paul said (1 Corinthians 9:18). You CANNOT serve God and money.
Don’t preach the Word of God for money but because of His love for you and the world and your love for Him, too. This also affects other areas of ministry.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, my motive for preaching Your Word shall not be polluted in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to preach the Word of God with sincerity and Christ’s authority. I shall not adulterate the Word of God or preach the Word of God for money. I shall not commercialize or market the Word of God for personal profit. Father, I pray that those who are trying to get to get rich from preaching the Word of God will repent.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947