Preparing for Finals
Public acclaim in this world is of no consequence. What matters is the state of our hearts when we stand before God in final judgment.
Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies.
May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame! Psalm 119:78-80
It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. First Corinthians 4:4-5
The Psalmist knew severe opposition because of his trust in God and obedience to His law. His life was a rebuke to those who had no regard for the Lord. He prayed that the insolent would be shamed and the God-fearers would be drawn to him so that they would know God’s word even better. But he also prayed for a blameless heart with respect to the Law of God. He did not want to be put to shame before the Judge.
In a similar way, Paul sought to be found commendable before God. He had received both criticism and acclaim by people. Some identified themselves with him to such a degree that they went around saying, “I am of Paul.” This was causing serious division in the church. Paul would not hear of this. He said, “It is the Lord who judges me.” He did not want the approval of men, especially since it was a basis for division.
How should they look at Paul and others, like Apollos? They were mere servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (vs. 1). He already said that they could do nothing but plant or sow, but had no power to cause growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). Paul served God with a continual awareness of the judgment to come. He sought only to be faithful. Like the Psalmist, he wanted to have a blameless heart on that day when “the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.”
Think about it
I heard of a Sunday School teacher who had a class for senior citizens. He said they attended faithfully because, at their advanced age, “they were preparing for finals.” Do you serve Christ with this mindset? Are you seeking only His commendation at the end of your life? Be preparing for finals today.