Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of January 1, 2011

1 Corinthians 4:1-2  Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

As we come to the end of another year, I am asking myself, “What did I accomplish for the Lord this last year?”  The answer is not very satisfying.  I would have to say that I haven’t accomplished very much. 

All of us who are truly saved and worshiping the Lord realize that what we do did not save us.  Salvation is fully and completely a gift from God.  But now that we are the Lord’s, He has placed in our hearts a desire to serve Him.  That is one of the things that I look for when people tell me that they are saved.  When I listen to people who claim to be Christians, do I hear them talk about One that they love, or do they talk about themselves?  Are they self-serving or are they serving others and Christ?  Are they displaying their own righteousness or are they displaying the righteousness of Christ?  How would I measure up if these questions were used to rate my life for the Lord over this past year?  I am afraid that most of my life was concerned with self and not with God.  Even when we think we are serving the Lord, we often are doing it for self-serving reasons.

Many give to the Lord in order to get from the Lord.  They are not giving sacrificially, they are investing.  While the Lord is clear that blessing often results from giving, my experience is that when I give I have less and not more in a material way.  My blessings are spiritual.  I don’t think the Lord wants us to give him a portion and keep the rest for ourselves.  I think He wants us to give Him ALL and to use some of it as good stewards to meet the needs of our life and service for Him.  I am not sure that I can honestly say that I have done that.

Many preach the Gospel and minister the Word for material gain today.  The Lord says that they are merchandising the Gospel.  He despises that since the Gospel is free.  But since we do need money in this life, who can honestly say that the need for money has not entered into decisions we have made about how we serve the Lord?   Would we have made the same decisions if money were really not an issue?  I suspect that most of us who serve the Lord would have to admit that in some measure, we have failed on this issue.

However, the real issue as I look back over the last year is, “How faithful have I been to the mysteries of God that have been entrusted to me?”   Have I changed my view of God and His truth to conform to the popular movements of the day?  Have I been faithful to proclaim that everyone who is saved was once lost?  Do I emphasize the need for a “new birth?”  Do I still tell the unsaved about God’s wrath which includes eternal conscious punishment if we die without trusting in Christ for salvation?  Do I love the unsaved enough to be honest with them or do I make God the kind of God that popular religion makes Him out to be?  Am I faithful to the unsaved and to the Lord who was willing to despise the shame of rejection and of the cross in order to save us?

Do I believe and preach that the church is not ours?  It is God’s and His dwelling place.  Do I believe that the early new testament church and the apostle’s teaching concerning it are still the guide for the church today?  Or have I been willing to build an organization that pleases men rather than letting the Lord build a living organism (body) that pleases Him.  The latter the gates of hell shall not overcome (Matthew 16:18).  When we build our way, not only do we leave the Lord on the outside (Revelation 3:20), but we are building on a sandy foundation that will not last.

I would like to hear the Lord say when I meet Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:21).”  So would you, of that I am sure.  But I suspect there are a few improvements that I could make over  last year.  Maybe you have some improvements to consider as well.  We can be thankful that the Lord is gracious to us where we have failed, but He still tells us that there is a standard for stewards.  The standard is FAITHFULNESS.

Bruce Collins

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