1 Corinthians 9:12 (NIV)
12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
As a preacher of the Gospel and the one who planted the church in Corinth, Paul had the right to receive financial support from the church he planted. As verse 13 says,
1 Corinthians 9:13 (NIV)
13 Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?
Even though Paul had the right to receive financial support from his church, as Paul says in verse 12, "we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ." In other words, Paul willingly gave up his right to financial support and sacrificed himself so that his church would have more resources to reach more people.
In the same way, there will be times when we need to give up our rights -- or what we think are our "rights" -- so that the gospel of Jesus Christ can advance in our city. It could be our own dreams, our freedom, our comfort, our status, our popularity, our finances. If God is calling you to give up those "rights", I encourage you to step out in faith and do it. You'll find that what you gave up doesn't compare to what you and those you impact will receive in return.
When you give up your "rights" for the sake of God's kingdom, you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God a right that He should hang on to, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant (Philippians 2:6-7). Then Jesus gave up His rights even further: "being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:8) No wonder God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11).
Thank You Lord Jesus for humbly giving up Your rights so that I could experience a freedom that I could never attain on my own. You didn't have to do what You did, but You did it anyway because You loved me. Help me to give up my rights for Your sake when You call me to. Thank You Lord Jesus!