March 5 @ I Corinthians 3-4

I Corinthians 3-4 (NLT) 

Discover His heart: He causes the seeds planted in our hearts to grow

There are several components to growing a healthy garden.  Nutrient-rich soil is essential along with plenty of sunshine and rain, but we won’t yield a harvest without the seeds.  It’s really all about the seed and how God guides it along to fruition.

@ I Corinthians 3
“Who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” (5-7)

It seems the Corinthian church members were arguing and determining the degree of their spirituality by who ministered to them, looking to who planted and watered rather than to the seed – the Good News of Jesus.  It’s human nature, I guess, for us to be attracted to the tangible man or woman and how they present the message rather than the message itself, but it’s not the messenger that gives life to us.  It’s the Jesus of the message, the power of the message that gives life and causes us to grow.  If we depend only on the messenger for our growth, and then the messenger fails, we might shrivel up and die.

In most ministry situations, I prefer to be invisible, behind the scenes assisting wherever I can.  Nothing makes me happier than to be unnoticed, but when I am speaking and ministering to others, my goal is to be invisible to where the listeners see only the Lord, drawn only to Him.  The task of the messenger is daunting.  “But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.  But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss.” (13-15) Whether we are preaching a sermon, teaching Sunday School, singing or leading a Bible Study, may our work bring honor and glory to Him alone, never to ourselves – may it be considered of great value on judgment day.

Paul was saying to the Corinthians that there is a responsibility for the listener to focus on the message, the seed, rather than the messenger.  And he was saying that there is a responsibility on the part of the messenger to keep motivations pure and to keep the focus on the message.  When we do this, we won’t be like the Corinthians, “I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger.” (2) We want to look past the charisma of the messenger and sink our teeth into something substantial – bring on the meat! 

Moving Forward: Checking my motives today so that they will withstand the fire, and focusing on the message and the growth it will bring to my life. 

Tomorrow @ Genesis 36-39

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