Man-made Columns in Ruins Surrounded by God’s Solid Rock

A daily devotion for September 22nd

The True Evaluation

But, Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved but the one whom the Lord commends.

2 Corinthians 10:17-18

Whenever anybody boasts, Paul says, it is to be in what the Lord has done. How that wipes out with one stroke all the proud evaluations you see people making of their own ministries! You never hear that from Paul. In the very next section he will tell us some of the things that happened in his ministry, but he does it with the most abject apologies. He is distressed that he has to talk about what he has done. He only defends his ministry because that is the kind of argument the Corinthians have been listening to from false teachers, and they seem to think it is important. A brief example of Paul's approach occurs in 1 Corinthians 15:10, where he says this about himself: But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Some may think this sounds like boasting. But notice what Paul says: Yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Paul always recognizes that the only thing that counts is what Christ does in him, not what he does for Christ. I have sometimes seen on the wall of Christian homes a little plaque that says,

Only one life, 'twill soon be past.

Only what's done for Christ will last.

That sounds very pious, and it certainly has a germ of truth about it, but it always bothers me because I do not think it is very accurately expressed. What I would like to see is,

Only one life, 'twill soon be past.

Only what Christ does through me will last.

But that doesn't have the right meter, you say. It doesn't, but it has the right theology, and that is what I am interested in. It is not what I do for Him that makes any difference at all. It is what He does through me. It is what I expect Him to do and what He promises to do that counts. Therefore, the true evaluation of a ministry is to look back and say, Well, thank God for what happened. But I didn't do it. God did it through me. I am grateful for the privilege of having the opportunity to be an instrument in His hands. That is true evaluation.

Lord, let me be content to labor at what You have given me to do, knowing that the fruit and the harvest will be of Your making and not mine.

Life Application

Do we resort to measuring and comparing ourselves with others? Are we finding contentment in simply serving as Christ's own beloved one?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

How to Spot a Phony

Listen to Ray