As he closed his second epistle to the Corinthians, Paul responded to the doubts of some Corinthian believers as to whether he was indeed a spokesman for Christ. Paul insisted that he was an apostle who had the right to speak for Christ. He knew that he was weak, but he was confident that the Lord was speaking through him. As a result of being in Christ, he shared in the power and wisdom of His risen Lord.
Paul then challenged the Corinthian church leaders to look into their own hearts. They were to test themselves as to whether their service measured up to what should be expected of a minister of Jesus Christ. The challenge to examine ourselves and our ministries is always in season. It is easy to slip slowly away from the essentials of our calling. We can become so involved in secondary concerns that we forget the central purpose of our service. Here are some questions that we might use to examine ourselves: 1). Do we believe that whatever our particular ministry may be, our ultimate goal is to bring men and women and boys and girls to Jesus Christ? 2). Do we understand that the power of God’s spirit is necessary in order to cope with the spiritual problems of the people with whom we work? 3). Do we understand that the church is a spiritual organism created by God’s Spirit rather than a building or a human organization? 4). Do we realize that the task of world missions is God’s work? 5). Do we realize that world missions can be carried on within a short distance from our homes and churches?
Just as Paul called on the Corinthian Christians to examine themselves, so we should ask ourselves whether our hearts and minds are focused on the goal of bringing people to Christ. Some of those who need to hear that the gospel can change their lives live very near us.