SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
Passage: Luke 8:1-3
“Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities — Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him[a] from their substance.”
Memory Verse Galatians 6:6 (NIV)
“ANYONE WHO RECEIVES INSTRUCTION IN THE WORD MUST SHARE ALL GOOD THINGS WITH HIS INSTRUCTOR.”
A woman recently told me the reason why she does not go to church. She said pastors are always asking members of their congregations to pay money for one thing or another. According to her, pastors should rather pray for God to bless them instead of asking for their members to support them financially. I smiled shortly and told her it depends on the reasons for which the monies are collected and whether they are used to serve their purposes.
I also told her there is nothing wrong with members of the church supporting their pastors and their families financially because God has stopped sending manna and quail. God provides for his ministers through the very people they minister unto. In our day it is true that many pastors are living well while many more are suffering from poverty because their congregations are not supporting them or cannot support them. In this edition of Spiritual Nourishment for Today we want to look at some women who supported Jesus and his disciples in their ministry.
Jesus knew what he came into the world to do and never stopped short of his mission. He was always focused on what he came into the world to do. Jesus knew that he had to spread the gospel from town to town while he was on earth. After leaving Simon’s house he continued traveling, teaching from town to town and spreading the gospel. Jesus did all this to teach his followers of the need to spread the gospel not only at one place but everywhere. He taught that people everywhere must be given the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. It is supported by what is contained in what has become known as the Great Commission as we find in Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus charged all believers everywhere to go into the whole world and teach the gospel. Jesus did not only give a command to others, he demonstrated it in his own ministry.
Unfortunately many believers of today claim to be followers of Christ without taking after the steps of Jesus Christ. Many of us fail to share the gospel as commanded us by our Master. Some of us are also more comfortable teaching at certain places but not everywhere. This has resulted in the concentration of churches and pastors in certain parts of the world while other places are still suffering from lack of ‘good’ pastors and churches. It is wrong for some Christians to limit themselves to ministering in only cities where they can be sure of safety and financial support thereby neglecting the remote and less peaceful areas. Let us take after the Master and gather the courage to send the gospel to every nook and cranny of the world whether directly or indirectly.
As Jesus went about doing his Father’s work, he needed assistance in terms of feeding and other things. Even though Jesus could have used his supernatural powers to supply everything he and his disciples needed during his public ministry, he refrained from that. He depended on the generous support of some people, especially the women mentioned in Luke 8:2-3. This implies that God wants those who benefit from the ministries of his messengers to support them. Jesus enjoyed support from wealthy women such as Mary Magdalene, Joana and Susanna among many others unnamed. They understood that Jesus and his disciples needed what to eat and wear as they journeyed from one place to another preaching the good news. They understood that Jesus and his disciples had left everything that could help them earn income to take care of their needs. They committed themselves to preaching and teaching God’s word. They therefore made themselves available in order to support the Master’s ministry. They sacrificed their wealth to support the greatest teacher of God’s word. This is something worth noting. All believers should come to the understanding that we cannot continue to allow those who feed our souls to suffer hunger and other financial hardships when we can support them. We must remember the special place our pastors and teachers have in God’s plan for us and support them in every way possible. We should take note of 1 Corinthians 9:14 which says:
“IN THE SAME WAY THE LORD HAS COMMANDED THAT THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL SHOULD RECEIVE THEIR LIVING FROM THE GOSPEL” (NIV).
The women named by Luke supported Jesus because they had received and enjoyed his mercy and favor and were willing to support him in every way possible. If we fail to support God’s genuine workers, we fail to support God’s work. God is looking for people who will support his genuine workers. Open your eyes; pray for guidance and let the Lord lead you to ministers in need and support them in every way you can. May the LORD help us!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.