SERVANTS OF CHRIST
Gracious Lord, as I read your Word today, may I rejoice and be strengthened to follow you more faithfully.
Read 1 Corinthians 3:18 – 4:5
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a]; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”[b] 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas[c] or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
The Nature of True Apostleship
4 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat responsibilities have you been given in life? How did it feel to be given those responsibilities? Perhaps some felt right, but some felt overwhelming. How did it feel attempting to fulfill the required duty?
In Matthew 25:14–30, Jesus told a story of some servants entrusted with some of their master’s money. In one way, the Corinthians were like the first servant who was given the most money – they had been enriched in every way, given every spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 1:5,7). But in another way, they were unlike the first servant, who used the money that was entrusted to him to further enrich his master. They seemed to be using their gifts to raise themselves up in their own importance.
‘Watch out,’ says Paul. ‘God knows your motives and those will be revealed. Follow our example.’ Paul, Cephas and Apollos saw themselves as the servants of Christ, working to give him glory, not to take glory for themselves. Furthermore, Paul pointed out that it was not the place of the Corinthian church to judge and criticize the apostles. They were working for God and it was up to God, not other believers, to judge them (v 4).
Make a list of your areas of responsibility – within your relationships, for your possessions, as a citizen of your community, country and world. Ask God to help you see all these responsibilities as God-given, and to help you fulfill them faithfully.
Heavenly Father, I want to please you in all things. Guide me in my decisions and grant me a humble heart.
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