NT Fire Starters – Day 229: 1 Corinthians 4:1-21
READ: 1 Corinthians 4:1-21
THINK: It’s popular advice these days to “be true to yourself.” While this may be a well-intended notion, it’s not completely appropriate. Your primary responsibility is to be true and faithful to God. To do so, you must know and rely on His Word, because even your own conscience can fool you when you feel okay about something that ‘s contrary to the principles of God’s Word. It’s easy to feel if things are going well that you must be okay spiritually. However, true faithfulness to God often brings hardship. You must ask God to continually expose your motives and to guide your thoughts and behaviors so you remain faithful to Him, regardless of what happens or how you feel.
RESPOND: What has God entrusted to His people and how can you prove to be faithful with that trust (v. 2)? Why are we not capable of judging ourselves accurately? (Se 4:4 note.) What does it mean to have a clear conscience, and why does that not guarantee that you’re doing what’s right? When and in what way will the Lord “bring to light what is hidden in darkness”? (See 4:5 note.) What must you keep in mind in order to avoid pride and remain humble? (See 4:7 note.) From verse 8 on, Paul uses sarcasm to challenge and warn the Corinthians against what kinds of attitudes? (See 4:8 note.) In what way were Paul and other messengers of Christ “like men condemned to die”? (See 4:9-13 note.) How is this an example to all followers of Jesus? Why and how did Paul want the Corinthians to follow his example (v. 16)? Why is it so important for Christians’ actions to be consistent with their message (v. 17)? Why is it vital to remember that “the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power”? (See 4:20 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you be faithful with all He’s entrusted to you–including the opportunity to communicate His message and demonstrate His love. Pray that you’ll never become prideful about your spiritual opportunities, knowledge or progress, but that your motives for serving Him will always be pure.
ACT: Find a way to express gratitude to the person who led you to Jesus or who became your main spiritual mentor.