Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart …. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:1, 5-7
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Make no mistake about it, Christian faith is a bold faith. Nothing about the Christian faith is timid. But for so many of us as Christians in today’s world, we know much more of timidity than boldness when it comes to our faith. Today’s Scripture provides us with significant help for seeing a reversal come about in our lives so that going forward we will experience a boldness in our faith that will powerfully impact the people and situations in our lives.
Every Christian is a minister of the Good News of redemption through Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul understood the toll associated with being a minister of the Gospel. He speaks of the mercy received from God so that “we do not loose heart.” “Losing heart” may describe us because the idea of being a minister of the Gospel overwhelms us so that we are completely stymied. Or “losing heart” may describe us because our efforts to impact our world have worn us out. Either way, the result is that timidity is more prevalent than boldness. We can receive a special mercy from God that will revive our hearts for all that he has called us to and verses 5-7 above can be instrumental in bringing this about for us.
The Apostle Paul says, “we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord.” It is not about what happens to us but about sharing Christ with others. It is “for Jesus’ sake” not ours. God “has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” We do not shine the light of the Gospel on others. God shines the light of Christ into our hearts and from our face to face experience with Christ he shines out of us to impact the people and situations of our lives. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” What a treasure it is to have Christ filling us with his presence and light. What a privilege it is to be vessels from which Christ and his light shines forth. All of this is “so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, revive my heart and wrap me up in a full awareness of what it really means to be a minister of the Gospel. Wrap me up in your light and your presence. May you readily shine forth from my life in powerful ways. Keep me centered on the truth that it is all about you and those who need your light and not me. Guard me from losing heart, Lord. Amen!
Posted on Thu, April 28, 2016
by Alan Porter