Monday 1st November 2021
THAT’S MY PAY!
Pastor Soong Kok Kee
1 Thessalonians 2: 19-20 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
A missionary was once asked about his salary. The inquirer knew it couldn’t be much, and he wanted to know why anyone would give so generously and sacrificially of himself to help total strangers, yet be paid so little.
The missionary pulled out a letter and read these words: “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t know Jesus Christ as my Savior. Every morning I kneel in prayer, thanking God for everything you’ve done for me.”
“That’s my pay!” exclaimed the dedicated servant of the Lord. The apostle Paul must have had something similar in mind when he wrote to the believers in Thessalonica. Addressing himself to those he had brought to the Savior, he said, “What is our hope, or joy, or crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”
In our day, when so much emphasis is placed on acquiring material wealth, how refreshing it is to hear of Christians whose greatest reward is to see people accept Christ and grow in spiritual maturity. Not only on earth, but in heaven too, when our Lord told the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin, he said “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15: 10).
As Pastors, we have often been asked what’s our greatest joy in ministry? For most if not all, our answer would definitely be the same like the apostle Paul – those whom we have brought to the Lord. What greater joy is there than leading someone to pray the sinner’s prayer, cleansing the house of altars and idols, seeing the whole family coming to church and then one by one seeing them get baptized?
Apart from bringing someone to the Lord, second would be to see him grow in spiritual maturity and serving with the spiritual gifts and talents that the Lord had blessed him with. There was this one brother who was so fearful to pray, even in a small group. He had to be led to pray word by word and slowly graduate to phrase by phrase till he was able to pray on his own. Half year down the road he was leading that same prayer meeting. Later he became the Chairman of the Church. That’s the joy the apostle Paul was talking about.
Another “joy” would be the instrument to see young people getting into full-time ministry. The late Bro Chong Fook Choy, often proudly introduced me as one of his former Sunday School students. It’s always a joy and honor to walk together and encourage people who are contemplating full-time ministry. One sister in the Lord who was about 5 years older than me told me when I was 18 that I would be wasting my life if I did not go into full-time ministry. PTL she later became a Pastor’s wife herself!
Another “joy” of a Pastor is having his former members becoming his close friends. We have been assured we can call on them any time, any day for any kind of help. That’s our “Pay” as a Pastor. I am sure this is true not only of Pastors but also for all brothers and sisters in the Lord. There is always a helping hand in this spiritual family of our Lord any time, any day, any help.
Remember, our Lord said in Luke 18: 29-30 ”no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come eternal life.”
So brothers and sisters, are you making it a practice to share the gospel with others? If you are, you’ll be rewarded with the best pay of all. You’ll enjoy thrilling satisfaction here on earth, and you can look forward to even greater reward in heaven!
God does not pay as others pay,
In goods that perish and decay;
But this is sure, let come what may
Who does God’s work will get God’s pay. – Anon.
PRAYER: Father God, thank you for reminding us that our greatest joy is to see people coming into your Kingdom and seeing them grow and mature spiritually and to serve you with the talents and spiritual gifts that you have blessed them with. Not only for us Pastors but for all who are carrying out the Great Commission. In Jesus precious Name we pray. AMEN.
“那就是我的报酬！” 这位献身于上帝的仆人欢呼道。使徒保罗在写信给帖撒罗尼迦的信徒时，心里一定也有类似的想法。他对那些他带领到救主面前的人说： “我们的盼望和喜乐并所夸的冠冕是什么呢？岂不是我们主耶稣来的时候，你们在他面前站立得住吗？因为你们就是我们的荣耀、我们的喜乐。”
在我们这个时代，当我们如此重视获得物质财富时，听到基督徒的最大回报是看到人们接受基督并在灵性上成长，这是多么地令人耳目一新。不仅在地上，而且在天上，当我们的主讲述迷失的羊和失钱的比喻时，祂说： “一个罪人悔改，在神的使者面前也是这样为他欢喜” (路加福音15:10)。
作为牧师，我们经常被问到我们在事奉中最大的喜乐是什么？即使不是全部，我们大多数的答案肯定会像使徒保罗一样 – 就是那些我们带到主面前的人。还有什么比带领一个人作决志的祷告、拆除家里的神台偶像、看到全家人来到教会，然后一个接一个地接受浸礼更令人喜悦的呢？
另一个 “喜乐” 是成为鼓励年轻人进入全职事奉的工具。已故的张福才弟兄（译音）（Bro Chong Fook Choy）经常自豪地介绍我是他以前的主日学生之一。陪伴那些正考虑全职事奉的人同行并鼓励他们，总是一件令人欢愉和荣幸的事。主里有一位比我大5岁的姐妹，她在我18岁的时候告诉我，如果我不投入全职服事，那就是在浪费我的生命。赞美主，后来她自己也成了牧师的妻子！
牧师的另一份 “喜乐” 是他昔日的会友成为他的亲密朋友。他们已向我们承诺，我们可以在任何时候、任何一天向他们寻求任何形式的帮助。这就是我们作为牧师的 “报酬” 。我相信这不只是对牧师，对所有在主里的弟兄姊妹也是如此。在我们主内属灵的家庭中，无论任何时候、任何一天、任何帮助，总会有一只援助之手。
谁作上帝的工，定会得到上帝的报酬。 — 佚名