(Note: Pastor Ben’s sermon series runs all the way through Easter. We are on a 60 Day Journey with Jesus as he appeared in the letters of the New Testament. Through seeing Jesus in the letters of the New Testament we are learning how the way of Jesus was lived out in the early church which in turn will help us better live out the way of Jesus as his people today. This week’s Devotionals are borrowed from a Devotional set from a few years ago. It should serve us well as we see how the way of Jesus as he made it known when he was here manifests itself in 1 & 2 Corinthians.)
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 4:5-7
Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:
Today’s Scripture includes this sentence, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” What is the treasure? and what are the earthen vessels? We are the earthen vessels and the manifestation of Christ is the treasure. Christ is manifested into our hearts by God. Christ within us is manifested to us in the personal experience of looking into his face. And Christ is manifested to others as he shines out from within us to others. Christians talk a lot about how wonderful Christ is and would certainly consider him a treasure. They are thankful for the gift of salvation, his care of them, his guidance, his protection, etc. Christians speak of having a relationship with Christ and yet they often miss the treasure of having Christ fully manifested in their lives.
What kind of relationship would you have with another person if you didn’t have an ongoing face to face experience with that person. If having a face to face relationship with Christ is what was intended and we get to the end of our lives without having really experienced him in this way, we will be filled with regret. But for many of us this kind of manifestation of Christ is rather mysterious and elusive. How do we have a face to face relationship with Christ when we cannot see him with our physical eyes. Seeing Christ with the eyes of faith is the key. Seeing the face of Christ is the spiritual awareness that we are in his presence. When we are prayerfully aware of the presence of Christ we are in communion with him and beholding the face of Christ becomes an intimate personal experience of worshiping him.
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, help me be aware of your presence within me on a regular basis. Teach me to behold your face in the intimacy of communion with you in prayer. Surely the more I am with you in this way the more my life will be transformed and the more you will be honored and glorified. And surely the more I am transformed the more others will see you shining out from within me. Help me not to miss you and the closeness of your presence. I love you and worship you Lord and I see that your face is beautiful. Amen!