I Cor 9:16 "For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel."
Paul was explaining to the Corinthian church that those who preach the gospel should be able to make their living from the gospel. In other words, if you are a preacher/pastor/teacher of the word, that is your profession and you should be able to count on others to give toward your support. That isn't what I said, that is what God's word says. So people should not question why pastors get paid. They get paid because they are ministering to others the gospel of God. But then Paul says this: "I haven't pushed this because I have to preach the gospel no matter what. I can't help it. Whether I am able to make my living this way or not, whether I live because you are supporting me, or if I die because you fail to support me, it doesn't matter because I am compelled to share this good news."
What an amazing heart. Unfortunately, some guys are out there and they think that they deserve all kinds of perks in the ministry. Some guys are not motivated because this is a story that they have to tell, but they are motivated by how much money or how much power or how much glory they get. Not Paul. He did not want money, or power or glory. He just wanted to preach the good news of Christ. He had to do this. Why? Because when you cut away all of the fat, when you get rid of all of the stuff that we seem to get wrapped up in when it comes to Christianity, it all boils down to one thing: The gospel. The good news. The fact that Jesus came, He lived, He ministered, He died, He rose, He is coming again. That is all. Frankly, the gospel can be wrapped up in one word: Jesus.
This is interesting because of what I was able to experience this last week. I have to measure what I said with whether Jesus was shared. Did I just talk about fancy words, or fun ideas, or my own goals? Was what I talked about on Sunday centered on Jesus? That is the question that I need to ask. That is the question I think any person who has an opportunity to preach must ask. What Jesus the focal point? When people walked away, did they realize the love of God in Christ? That is what Paul wanted. That is what motivated him. That is what should motivate anyone who has an opportunity to preach or teach…whether they get paid or not. Preach Jesus.