OVERVIEW: Paul urges the Corinthian believers to remain teachable and, regardless of the circumstances or challenges they face, to follow his example in loving and serving God.
BIG IDEA: Faithfully serve God and others in the way God has equipped you.
KEY VERSE: 1 Corinthians 4:16-17 (Paul to the Corinthians)
So I urge you to imitate me. That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
I want you to serve me with a glad and willing heart. Determine to do so with love and joy, regardless of how others perceive you or what they say. Don’t be distracted by obstacles. Instead, call on me to empower and fill you. Call on me to live through you. Some may laugh at your efforts or claim you are wasting your time. Some may even curse you or slander your name. Respond in love. Bless those who curse you. Work hard, knowing you are serving me.
The Holy Spirit is within you. Reveal Christ in your words and actions. It is not you who lives but Christ within you. Manifest him in how you serve so that others see Jesus. Encourage others in their work so that—together—you display a unified picture of Christ’s love. Encourage one another and imitate one another’s servanthood so that the world may see and know my love. May others be inspired by your selfless love and service.
Take time to remind yourself why you serve. Don’t do it to receive praise or to replace guilt. Do it because God has given you gifts and wants you to have a servant’s heart. Encourage others to do the same.