Summary: Paul tells us that our success as ministers for Christ will be judged by our faithfulness, Not by man or even ourselves but by God. God will look into our hearts and examine our motives and we will receive our praise from him.
1 Corinthians 4:1-5 (NLT)
INTRO: There was a man in a community that had the reputation for always being able to catch fish. Regardless of the time of the year it was, or whether anybody else was catching fish, this man was always managed to come back with a boat load of fish. His brother-in-law, who happened to be a Game Warden had always been amazed at the man’s success. So, one morning the man agreed to take his brother in law fishing with him. They went to a lake that was known for its poor fishing. The game warden watched his brother-in-law take the boat out to the middle of the lake and cut the motor off. The game warden was confused as he noticed that his brother-in-law didn’t worry about finding a ledge or brush-pile, or anything like that. Then instead of getting his rod and reel out, the game warden’s brother-in-law pulled a stick of dynamite out of a sack, lit it, and threw it overboard. A few seconds later, there was a big boom, and almost immediately the surface of the lake was covered with stunned fish. The Game warden couldn’t believe what he had just witnessed. He immediately began reciting the fishing laws and regulations to his brother-in-law. But this didn’t seem to bother his brother in law in the least. He simply reached into the bag for another stick of dynamite, lit it, and tossed it to the game warden and said, "You gonna talk, or you gonna fish?" The game warden noticed the fuse was almost to the end and He quickly decided to fish. (sermon central)
. The game warden quickly became a successful fishermen.
. We all measure success in different ways.
. If I were to ask ten people what being a successful person means, I would probably get 10 different answers.
. Some would say having enough money that you don’t have to worry financially.
. Some would say raising their children to be responsible adults.
. Some consider success as being important. Rubbing elbows with the important people.
. I’m sure you have heard this before. He who dies with the most toy’s wins.
. In our scripture this morning, the Apostle Paul writes about measuring success.
. How do you measure success as a minister or as a Christian.
. Paul is still focusing on the division in the Corinthian church regarding who to follow and he addresses how one looks at success in the ministry. While he is talking about himself and Apollos, this principle applies to all who claim Jesus Christ as their savior.
. Measuring Success
1So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries.
2Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.
3As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point.
4My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.
5So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.