May 23, 2010

Faithful to Jesus

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Wait till the Lord comes… At that time each will receive their praise from God.
1 Corinthians 4:5


It’s tough not to be influenced by what our neighbors think. It’s hard to stand up to criticism delivered by people who are respected by others. The apostle Paul understood that pressure.

The church at Corinth was splintered, with strong voices judging Paul’s teaching about Jesus in critical ways. But Paul understood that his genuine joy was found in service to the Lord Jesus. Paul writes, “You ought to regard us … as servants of Christ.” These verses describe Paul’s surrender to God’s affirmation of his life and ministry. What matters is not what others think, but what God thinks.

It is no different for us. You may be struggling in the midst of broken relationships, grieving a death, watching your children drift from God or face some disaster. Life may look bleak. Your faithfulness may be tried by people who offer easier and simpler solutions than faithful obedience. But wait: “Wait till the Lord comes.” Jesus’ opinion on your discipleship is the only one that ultimately matters.

Be joyful. Be faithful. Serve others and so serve Jesus.

God will judge in his own time and way. At that time we will receive “praise from God” for what we have confessed and done for him. That is our joy as we worship him today.

Dear God, thank you for seeing me not as others see me, but through the lens of your grace and forgiveness in Jesus. I want to live for you. Amen.

About the author — Jack Gray

Jack Gray recently retired after forty years as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. During that time he served seven churches from coast to coast in the United States. He and his wife, Wanda, have four sons and three grandchildren. They also have ministered to 44 foster children. This month’s devotions are inspired by his reflections on time at this transition in his life.

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