TUESDAY, MARCH 6
BY: ROY LANTEN
SCRIPTURE: 1 CORINTHIANS 4
As described in previous chapters we see the frustrations of Paul for the church in Corinth coming out. Here we don’t see Paul’s frustrations get the best of him like most us would allow them to (um, like me punching a wall and breaking my hand), Paul keeps a cool attitude in his words. As we read let us seek not only to discern the strong words of this apostle, but also his warmth of heart and his gentle spirit. Here is a man who is a model leader, a model for all to follow.
We read in verse 3 Paul telling the church that he doesn’t really care about the churches judgment of him. He even states that he doesn’t even judge himself. Paul is not being arrogant or saying anything that he is above fellow ministers, other Christians, or even certain unbelievers. He is saying that the human verdict of his life is not the one that matters, not even his own verdict. Most of us are unaware of some of our sin, like Paul states in verse 4. But does us being unaware of our sin make us justified from it? Absolutely not! Does this allow others to judge us for our sin that we are unaware of? Absolutely not! I love Paul’s statement at the end of verse 4, “It is the Lord who judges me.”
Verse 5 is one that can haunt us. Paul says, “So don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts.” This refers to the inner motives, thoughts, and attitudes which only God can know, since final rewards will be based not just on outward service, but on inward devotion as well. Maybe some food for thought, huh?
We see in verses 6-13 Paul telling the church in Corinth that everything he has told them so far in his letter, he and Apollos have applied to their life as well. Just like the church in Corinth, we as a church have nothing to boast about. Everything we have has been given to us. What do we have that we didn’t receive? And when we receive something, what gives us the right to call it our own? Like Paul describes his life in verses 9 -13, should we also be displayed in the same manner? Should we live our lives as if we have received nothing? What God has given us, we should be good stewards of. God gave us resources so we could reach a community, county, state, country, and world for His name.
As Paul states in verse 14, “I am not writing this to shame you,” I too, am not writing this shame us. As I write this God is doing a number in my life as well. It’s never easy to say things to others that God lays on your heart when you too are in the same boat. Paul calls the church in Corinth to imitate his life. A life that is fully devoted to giving everything he has for the sake of the Gospel. We too, as a church and Christian must imitate not only the life of Paul, but first and foremost the life of Jesus Christ.