Why We Can’t Judge Someone’s Ministry

I Corinthian 4:5 is a great reminder of why you & I are not to judge someone’s ministry too early. The verse reads:

“Therefore do not go on judging before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”

Importantly, Paul is NOT saying that we can’t make judgments about clear-cut sin. He does that himself in the very next chapter, saying that he had “already judged” a man who was living in blatant immorality. Rather, in context he is speaking about making judgments about God’s servants, like himself and Apollos.  This scripture points out two important reasons why we are not capable of rendering final judgment about them:  Continue reading

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What Kind Of Minister?

Many pastors and other ministers in churches today are noted for their “creativity”, or for their authoritarian nature. But how does this line up with scripture?  In I Corinthians 4:1, the Apostle Paul wrote:  “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”  Paul highlighted two essential qualities of authentic Christian ministers in this verse: Continue reading

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Your Conscience Is Not Your Guide

“For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the One who examines me is the Lord.” (I Corinthians 4:4)

There is an old expression: “Let your conscience be your guide.” But Paul shows us here that the old adage is insufficient.  He asserted that in regard to the situation in the church at Corinth, “I am conscious of nothing against myself.”  But significantly, he went on to say that his own conscience was NOT an adequate guide.   Continue reading

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Your Response Matters

Isaiah 22 shares Isaiah’s oracle concerning the Valley of Vision. In it he relates the coming destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians. When the Judeans heard of the impending invasion, they made every earthly preparation — but neglected to seek God, as verses  8-11 describe.

But their emotional response to the calamity that awaited them was equally detestable in the eyes of God. He says in :12 “Therefore in that day the Lord GOD of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing, to shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth.” They should have mourned and wept and sought God. But notice what they did instead: Continue reading

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“This Is My Story: The Woman At The Well” (John 4:1-42 sermon)

Several summers ago, a father and his son were out for a walk in a farmer’s field in northern England. The son had brought a metal detector with him, and all of the sudden, it started to squeal. They decided to dig up whatever was buried, and what they brought out of the ground was a metal bowl, that turned out to be over 1000 years old, buried by Vikings, and it was filled with over 600 gold and silver coins! They thought they were just out for a normal afternoon walk – but they ended up finding a great treasure that day.

Our “story” for today is very similar. It is the tale of a woman who went out on a normal day’s activity – to get some water from the well — and yet she found more than she ever expected. More than just some silver and gold coins, this woman found eternal life. In the same way, perhaps you have thought that today would be just a “normal” church day – but God may have something more in mind for you. Maybe this is the day that you, like the woman in this story, will find eternal life through Jesus Christ. Let’s look together at the story of The Woman At The Well from John 4:1+ Continue reading

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Everything But God

In Isaiah 22, Jerusalem is being invaded by the Babylonians, and so the inhabitants are getting ready for the siege. Isaiah describes their preparations:

:8 “In that day you depended on the weapons of the house of the forest … and you saw that the breaches in the wall of the city of David were many; and you collected the waters of the lower pool. Then you counted the houses of Jerusalem and tore down houses to fortify the wall. And you made a reservoir between the two walls for the waters of the old pool.” (:8-11a)

Jerusalem made every preparation for a siege that they could make. But they forgot one vital thing, which Isaiah pointed out in the second part of :11: Continue reading

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Regard For God?

“In that day man will have regard for his Maker and his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 17:7)

The first verses of Isaiah 17 foretold the judgment that was about to come upon Syria & Israel. What was the basis of it? In :7 God revealed the root problem: they were evidently NOT regarding God; their eyes were NOT looking to the Holy One.

Verse :8 shows us what they had substituted for trusting in God: “He will not have regard for the altars, the work of his hands, nor will he look to that which his fingers have made …”. People in those days had substituted other things for God: “religious” things; man-made things, instead of regarding God Himself.

We would be foolish to think that we don’t have the same problem of disregarding God. Continue reading

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