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1 Corinthians 4

Yes, Lord! My life is in YOUR hands.
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“…wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God … I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand guardians* in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became Your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me … my way of life in Christ Jesus which agrees with what I teach…” (v 5, 14-17).

“For the kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God’s power” (v 20 NLT).

Authentic follower–that’s what Paul desired to motivate each of the Corinthian believers to become. Lord, You used his pen to convey Your will to Your people … to me. Bring to light my motives for my talk and my walk. Remove any darkness and drench me in Your light. Set my motives in line with Your Word and Your will.

Highlight the lives You’ve intersected with mine over the years and those still vitally connected who are examples of living a “way of life in Christ Jesus which agrees with what [he/she teaches or says]” (4:17 NIV). Show me lives that are living by Your power and not just talking about Your kingdom. As You reveal these examples to me (or even before), hone my own life into that kind of life that authentically follows You — where motives, talk, and action all come together to convey a true reflection of You. Make me just like Jesus, so others can see Him clearly. Amen.

* NOTE: “guardians” — “In Paul’s day, a guardian was a slave who was assigned as a special tutor and caretaker of a child. Paul was portraying his special affection for the Corinthians (great than a slave) and his special role (more than a caretaker) … Paul’s tough words were motivated by love — like the love a good father has for his children (1 Thes 2:11)”

— Notes from the NIV Life Application Study Bible, Zondervan, p. 2067.

“Your walk talks and your talk talks, but does your walk talk what your talk talks?” –as quoted by K. Thomas

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