But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place …. Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant …. Therefore, having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech. 2 Corinthians 2:14; 3: 4-6A, 12
Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able …. And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last. Luke 13:24, 29-30
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
God has an amazing and wonderful plan of reaching our fallen world with the Good News of Jesus Christ and the gift of redemption and change that comes through him and him alone. Jesus Christ is the heartbeat of the plan. At the last supper with his disciples, just before his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” It is through the blood of Christ that we are redeemed. Redemption through the shed blood of Christ is what the new covenant is all about. Today’s 2 Corinthian passage says we are servants of the new covenant. Those who have been reached for Christ reach others for Christ. This is how God’s plan of redemption unfolds and ultimately succeeds. Each person who is reached and being transformed in Christ becomes a vital link in bringing Christ to a fallen world.
As believers in Christ in today’s world it is not uncommon for us to struggle with feelings of being a “weak link” or even a “missing link.” Today’s Scripture does much to restore our perspective and hope that we can successfully be a part of God’s amazing story of redemption and change for the world. The passage puts the emphasis where it needs to be, on God and not us. Those who become vital links in God’s plan for reaching the world are ones who stop their pursuit of trying to be a vital link in favor of simply pursuing God, himself.
Notice the God-centeredness of our passage: “thanks be to God,” “who always leads us in triumph,” “manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place,” “confidence we have through Christ toward God,” “our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant.” The more we pursue God, the more we will know and experience him. The more we know and experience God, the more his adequacy fills us. The more his adequacy fills us, the more we become adequate servants of the new covenant. As servants of the new covenant we will be vital links that successfully do our part in God’s plan of reaching the world with his provision of redemption and change through Jesus Christ.
Throughout the week we will explore how to be the best servants of the new covenant that we can possibly be. Jesus triumphed over sin and death on the cross. It is through his triumph that we have been redeemed from the consequences of sin and death. And we are told in our passage that God “always leads us in triumph in Christ.” We will be triumphant as servants of the new covenant. We will also be looking this week at an emphasis on “banquets” from the Gospel of Luke in chapters 13 and 14. Today’s passage from Luke speaks of a final banquet where the redeemed will gather at a banqueting table for a culminating celebration of the triumph of Christ. We will celebrate Christ’s triumph on the cross where redemption was accomplished. We will celebrate our own redemption. We will celebrate the redemption of others gathered at the table because God led us in triumph in Christ as servants of the new covenant. And then we celebrate the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan that produced the kingdom of the redeemed who will know and enjoy his presence forever.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I confess that I am not adequate in myself to consider anything as coming from myself. Help me be relentless in my pursuit of you. I believe you will lead me in triumph and manifest through me the sweet aroma of my knowing and experiencing you in every place you put me. Grant that even my speech will reflect the hope and boldness I have through you. I know you will help me to become a true servant of the new covenant. Thank you for the triumph that is mine in Christ. I look forward to that glorious day when we will celebrate the culmination of your redemptive plan at the banqueting table of your eternal kingdom. Amen!
Posted on Mon, February 25, 2019
by Ken Hart