Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 17, 2023

“For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.”

Today’s devotion comes from Leviticus 7:1-10.

“Now this is the law of the guilt offering;  it is most holy.  In the place where they slay the burnt offering they are to slay the guilt offering, and he shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar.  Then he shall offer from it all its fat: the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails, and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe on the liver he shall remove with the kidneys.  The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to the LORD;  it is a guilt offering.  Every male among the priests may eat of it.  It shall be eaten in a holy place;  it is most holy.  The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law for them;  the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it.  Also the priest who presents any man’s burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has presented.  Likewise, every grain offering that is baked in the oven and everything prepared in a pan or on a griddle shall belong to the priest who presents it.  Every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron, to all alike.”  Leviticus 7:1-10.


As highlighted, we see the emphasis of which offerings and parts thereof belong to the priest and what may be eaten.  We have seen this before and will see it again later.  We will use this devotion to see how this Scripture applies to us today and to consider the benefits and dangers of this liberty.

“Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar?  So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

But I have used none of these things.  And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case;  for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.  For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion;  for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.  For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward;  but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.  What then is my reward?  That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.”  1 Corinthians 9:13-17.

We see the danger of abusing liberty in the following story of the sons of Eli.

“Now the sons of Eli were worthless men;  they did not know the LORD and the custom of the priests with the people.  When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand.  Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot;  all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself.  Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.  Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw.”  If the man said to him, “They must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire,” then he would say, “No, but you shall give it to me now;  and if not, I will take it by force.”  Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD.”  1 Samuel 2:12-17.

There are those bad ministers who abuse the liberty who focus on themselves and their rights in order to figuratively thrust their fork into the offering to God to get what they can get. 

“In His teaching He was saying: “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers;  these will receive greater condemnation.”  Mark 12:38-40.

But, there are also good ministers who use the liberty to focus on God and what He has given in order to do more for God with what the money they receive allows them to do. 

More generally, good ministers and the rest of the good servants of God realize as Paul did.  “For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward;  but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.”

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6.


%d bloggers like this: