Cold Water Principle


By Dr. Ken Matto


Matthew 10:41-42 (KJV)   He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.  {42} And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Here Jesus speaks of receiving those who are involved in the ministry. Jesus is saying that he that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shares in his reward. This may be the type of prophet which is not necessarily foretelling future events but one who declares the word of God. If one receives them and gives them hospitality, then those people who help the preacher in his ministry are sharing in his ministry. This is why there is no such thing as a small part in ministry. Let us say you have a visiting preacher coming to your church for a series of meetings. You are asked to design a flyer to hand out, in essence, you are receiving that preacher and will share in his ministry. A word to wives. Let us say that you do all the work around the house thus freeing your husband to do ministry, you are sharing in his ministry. Then Jesus speaks about receiving a righteous man. Let us say the righteous man is not a preacher but has the gift or ability to build houses or repair them. You may be a helper to this man but you are sharing in his ministry. You will also share in the rewards of the ministry. What is the greatest reward a Christian can receive. (Gen 15:1 KJV) After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. It is the promise of God Himself being our reward. If you are helping a preacher or helping a person do repairs on a church building, it all comes down to one thing and that is service. You are taking whatever talent or ability the Lord gave you and are using it to the glory of God. So never think that any task is menial in the Kingdom of God.

 Then in Verse 42, Jesus takes it down another notch to just a cup of cold water. He is repeatedly emphasizing that not every single task in the Kingdom of God is going to be a large task and just because a person is doing a task which seems very small, they too will share in the reward. It takes many working together and some doing the bigger tasks and some doing the smaller tasks to bring together a ministry that sends out the Gospel. Sometimes I hear on the radio, ministries which state that you should not hesitate to send in $5 or $10, and that is true because they add up and as they add up, they widen the outreach of ministry. So never look at a ministry task as being too small for being useful, because Jesus doesn’t and neither should you.


Back in 1995, two television programs premiered which emphasized teamwork.  One was “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena: Warrior Princess.”  In the program Hercules, he traveled with a companion named Iolaus who shared in all the campaigns of Hercules to help him attain whatever goal he was focusing on in the particular episode.  By the way Kevin Sorbo who played Hercules is a born again Christian.  In the program Xena, she travelled with Gabrielle who was her companion in helping her attain to whatever goal she was seeking.  In both cases, Gabrielle and Iolaus were called sidekicks which is also a synonym for “associate, partner, or colleague.”  In other words, they were not secondary or inferior to their partners but played a strategic role in whatever venture they attempted.


These are two good visible examples of how Christianity works.  We read in Matthew 10:41-42 that the Lord is talking about a cup of cold water which is probably the most basic thing you can do for someone but for the someone who is receiving the water and if they are parched, it is a welcome gift.  The Lord wants all his children to know that there is no such thing as a meaningless and unnoticed task in Christianity.  Hebrews 6:10 (KJV) For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  The Lord is emphasizing the fact that no matter what your role is in ministry, it is an important one.  Remember the person who made the fliers for the visiting preacher.  Christianity is a partnership where we partner with other believers for the purpose of getting the gospel out to the world.


Let’s say you do not have the gift of speaking or mercy or you couldn’t hold a tune in a bucket but you have 6 extra bibles at home, so you send them out to a ministry which will forward them to 6 different indigenous evangelists in the world.  Those six bibles are now being used to preach the gospel in places you never heard of and people who heard the gospel have become saved.  The reality is that those 6 bibles were your cup of cold water and as a result you shared in the ministry of those itinerant preachers simply because you sent the 6 bibles for distribution.  If a thousand people became saved under their preaching from the bibles you sent, then you have shared in the salvation of those thousand people.  The Lord also wants us to know that it does not take much to be a partaker in ministry but some type of involvement is definitely necessary.  Satan could have deceived you by saying that “well what good are 6 bibles, it won’t have any impact so you might as well not send them.”  Can you imagine if you would have believed him?  There is a severe shortage of bibles in the world and even just six can make an impact for the Lord.


Let’s look at another scenario.  We have a husband and wife and the husband is in involved in some type of public ministry.  Now the husband needs time to prepare sermons, written materials, or whatever his ministry requires.  If the wife takes up the mantle of taking care of the house and even the finances, it frees her husband up to continue to do ministry.  She shares in the ministry of her husband for 2 reasons.  First, she is one flesh with her husband and the second, is that her function of taking over household duties is her cup of cold water and she will share in the rewards of her husband’s ministry.  Now let me interject that this does not mean the husband is to shirk any or all duties around the house and not give his wife a helping hand when he is able to.


There is one fallacy which permeates even Christianity and it is the belief that the person at the forefront of ministry is the one who receives all the credit.  Unfortunately, those who minister behind the scenes are normally the forgotten ones but if we keep in mind the great promise God gives us in Hebrews 6:10 that he will never forget the work we do for the kingdom of God and for the Saints when we aid in their ministry, even if it is handing out flyers or even creating them.  There are no secondary jobs in the kingdom of God.  All have value no matter how small they are.  Revelation 5:10 (KJV) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.  In Revelation 5:10, we read that God has made us kings and priests and we will rule on the earth.  It does not say he made “some” kings but all Christians are kings.  This means that Christianity is a faith of equality no matter what position the Lord puts you in.  Whatever position the Lord places you in just be faithful and fulfill the duties even if you are over-qualified for the job you are doing.  1 Corinthians 4:2 (KJV) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.



The cold water principle is very simple.  You just help get the gospel out in any way you are able to even if the job you are doing is very humble.  If you do not fall into the satanic trap that others will get the credit and you will get nothing, then you will find that your ministry capabilities will be used of the Lord, even if you never walk out on stage or get a trophy.  Remember we are not home yet!  So continue to seek where you can give a cup of cold water and never be hindered by the fact that you are behind the scenes.  Always keep in mind the promise of Hebrews 6:10.  The only thing God forgets is our sins and iniquities.  Hebrews 8:12 (KJV) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.  God never forgets our works and labors of love, no matter how menial they look in our eyes.