1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-3 – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I giveaway all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
In answering today’s theme, two things to establish. First, we are going to face a Day of Judgment. Personal judgment before the Lord Jesus – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10). Some Christians don’t believe this with the reason being Christ already took our judgment. This is true, Christ did take our punishment for sin, but these believers lack understanding of this particular judgment. Notice who the Apostle Paul is writing to–believers in the church of Corinth. That alone should cause us to reconsider our position if we hold that believers will not be judged. Again, it is a true statement Christ took our judgment from God for sin but this judgment isn’t about sin. It’s about stewardship of life and that leads to the second thing to establish if we are going to answer the question in today’s nugget theme.
The judgment believers are going to face will be a judgment of stewardship–what did we do after we became Christians – Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God (Romans 14:10-12)
As we stand before the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Judge of Judges, and give a detailed account of lives, what will be the chief thing determining the quality of our judgment? Motive. Why did we do what we did? Why did we give of our money, time, and talents to the Lord’s work? What drove us to faithful sacrifice in serving God’s people? Well, to “pass” this judgment before the Lord Jesus, all those questions are answered with one word–“love”.
In today’s scripture, the Apostle Paul would tell us no amount of giftedness or talents used, no amount of sacrifice of our things or person will matter if not motivated, energized and sustained by God’s love controlling us. At the end of the day, love is all that will matter. But the question becomes, “How do I know if I am doing all things out of love for God and people?” Well, not enough space for a detailed answer so let’s offer three “tests” we may apply to see if love is our motivation in all we do for the Lord; is our goal for Christ to be lifted up?, is our goal the spiritual and temporal good of others?, and if we never get recognized, affirmed, or praised for what we did that is fine?” Those are great places to start to see if our lives are going to be measured “worthwhile” or “worthless” in our service for the Lord.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to be motivated in all that I do, say, and think by love; Your love for Your glory.”
QUOTE: “Worthless or worthy for the Lord? Those are the choices in all we do. Let love make the right choice.”
Because of Him,