Are You Sure? (I Corinthians 3-4)

 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. I Corinthians 4:4

As I look back to the days of the Apostle Paul’s ministry, I find myself asking how he was able to focus in the midst of all that was thrown at him. Imagine having your every move critiqued. Imagine having your every word twisted and torn down. Imagine meeting people who had already formed opinions about you, even before they met you. Truly Paul faced difficulty day in and day out.

As Paul begins I Corinthians 4, he is defending his ministry. There are two summary statements made by Paul which accurately describe his ministry:

  • Paul was a servant of Christ.
  • Paul was a steward of the gospel.

As a servant of Christ Paul had been entrusted with the spreading of the gospel to the nations. As Paul focused on these two things, many chose to judge him falsely. Paul faced so many different accusations. But these did not stop him from completing his ministry.

I believe Paul used what others meant for evil to lead him to good. I imagine Paul receiving each criticism with an attitude of simply saying, ok I will check my heart to see if this is true.

As Paul did this he was very wise in saying, no one is fully qualified to judge their own heart (4:3). This leads me to share this with you: I am fully qualified to judge my own heart and I am certainly not qualified to judge the intentions of other people’s hearts.

Paul reminds his readers that there will be a day when the Lord will return to judge the true intentions of all people’s hearts (4:5).

Brothers and sisters, I must ask: What is in your heart? This is a question that I have to daily ask myself. To be transparent, I know my heart is very deceptive. I know my heart hid’s sin in the deepest recesses of my heart. The only way to overcome my heart is to submit all my thoughts and actions to God’s light revealed by His Word. Here are three statements about the power of His Word:

  1. God’s Word exposes everything in my heart. Hebrews 4:12-13
  2. God’s Word removes sin through repentance, Psalm 119:9
  3. God’s Word directs our paths, John 8:12.

Brothers and sisters, please take time each day to bring every thought, intention, and action before God in His Word. Brothers and sisters, please take time each week to meet with an accountability partner who will keep your heart empty of sin and filled with God.

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