Key Verse: Verse 18 – “For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”
Key Words: For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth
Praise God that we have the opportunity to minister to people all over the world through our internet ministry (all of our services are live on the internet), and even through our devotional Refreshing Daily. Not often, but on occasion, we will receive a note of criticism. I usually will set the note aside until I’m ready to respond. If I reply too soon, I may regret what I say. By waiting and giving myself time to pray and prepare, I am better able to give a proper Godly response which is Spirit-led rather than emotionally-driven.
The church at Corinth had been very critical of Paul and his apostleship; but in our text for today, Paul is responding by saying three primary things (you can study the context for yourself).
In verses 1 through 6, Paul tells them how to wage a spiritual warfare.
In verses 7 through 11, he tells them how to use spiritual authority.
In verses 12 through 18, he tells them how to measure a spiritual ministry.
The church at Corinth did not see Paul’s ministry as a success but as the continual struggles which Paul had to endure.
God doesn’t measure success the way we do. A pastor once said, “Over the years, I have seen ministries tested by financial losses, the invasion of false doctrine, the emergence of proud leaders who want to ‘run the church,’ and the challenge of change. Some of the churches have fallen apart and almost died, because the work was not spiritual. Other ministries have grown because of the trials and have become purer and stronger; and, through it all, God was glorified.
“Certainly our ministries must keep records and issue reports, but we must not fall into the ‘snare of statistics’ and think that numbers are the only measurement of ministry. Each situation is unique, and no ministry can honestly be evaluated on the basis of some other ministry. The important thing is that we are where God wants us to be, doing what He wants us to do so that He might be glorified. Motive is as much a part of God’s measurement of our work as is growth. If we are seeking to glorify and please God alone, and if we are not afraid of His evaluation of our hearts and lives, then we need not fear the estimates of men or their criticisms. ‘But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.’”
What to do:
✞ If you must measure your church, measure it by God’s measuring stick, not other churches and ministries.
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