A few years before his death, an American lecture bureau tried to engage Charles Spurgeon to come to America and deliver fifty lectures, speaking in all the large cities of the country. As an enticement, the bureau offered to pay him $1,000.00 each night for speaking. $50,000.00 was an enormous amount in the 19thCentury. However, Mr. Spurgeon promptly declined this tempting offer, saying, "I can do better. I will stay in London and try to save fifty souls." He then quoted Acts 13:10, "O full of deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?"
Christ said, "But he who is a hireling and not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them" (John 10:12). Arthur W. Pink explained, "The hireling shepherd is not the owner of the sheep – note 'who does not own the sheep.' He has neither a proprietorship over them, nor affection for them. The 'hireling' is paid to guard and watch them, and all such mind their own things, and not the things of the Lord. 'It is not the bare receiving of hire which demonstrates a man to be a hireling (the Lord has ordained that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel), but the loving of hire; the loving of hire more than the work; the working for the sake of hire. He is a hireling who would not work, were it not for the hire' (John Wesley). The 'hireling,' in a word, is a professing servant of God who fills a position simply for the temporal advantages which it affords. A hireling is a mercenary: has no other impulse than the lust of lucre."
John Wesley left a legacy of integrity in finances. He was known for his financial care for widows, orphans and the poor. He made thousands of dollars from the sales of his books and tracts, but he died with only two pounds and five shillings (US $1.10) in his pocket. Basil Miller wrote of him, "Born in a home where the scant necessities of life were luxuries, when he left the world for heavenly scenes of labor, he bequeathed it his possessions – two silver spoons, a silver pot, a well-known frock coat and the Methodist Church."
"One wonders if Amos would have been effective as he prophesied against those who 'lie upon beds of ivory,' if he had first signed a contract with Amaziah for three thousand shekels before coming to speak" (Jamie Buckingham).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida 34654