Together in Christ: 'Respected and Compensated!' — 1 Timothy 5:7-18

Wednesday, July 31, 2024

Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain." And in another place, "Those who work deserve their pay!"
— 1 Timothy 5:7-18 NLT

Key Thought

The apostle Paul avoided financial support by working with his hands to be self-supporting. [1] However, he made clear in our passage today that those who worked full time in ministry should be respected for their hard work and financially supported.

We know that no human leader is perfect. They each have flaws and fallibilities. So, as followers, we can always find things in a leader to criticize if we choose to do so. However, in a culture that accentuates and criticizes the faults of others, we need to be people who catch others — especially our spiritual leaders — doing what is right, good, godly, and helpful. We need to affirm their love for God and His people. We need to rejoice in their hard work for the Lord. Valuing others, especially our leaders, must be a high priority for us as we live for Jesus!

[1] Acts 20:32-35; 2 Corinthians 11:7-9. Paul was a leather worker who probably made tents and saddles. He advocated working with our hands to support our ministry efforts. Paul's practice gave birth to the term "tent-maker" and became an informal title for self-supporting ministers and missionaries — Acts 18:1-3; 1 Corinthians 4:12; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, thank you for gifting some to be leaders in Jesus' church. Thank You, especially for those who use those gifts to help us serve You effectively and function as the bodily presence of Jesus in our world. Forgive us for our past criticisms and fault-finding in our leaders. Please protect them from attack. Bring others close to hold them accountable and use me to affirm, honor, and build them up. Thank you for our godly Christian leaders. We ask for the reclamation and forgiveness of those leaders who have gone astray. We pray all this in the name of the greatest leader of all time, Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 4:7-16, 28; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12, 5:12-14
  • Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24; Luke 22:24-27

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Illustration

Illustration of 1 Timothy 5:7-18 NLT — Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain." And in another place, "Those who work deserve their pay!"

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.