Read: 2 Corinthians 4: 1 – 18
Focus: 5 You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4: 5, 7
During her sermon last week, Jenn talked about the importance of reading the Bible and meditating on the Word of God as we read it and throughout the day. The Bible tells us that all of the Bible is useful (for example in 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul writes: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right). That being said, there are certain readings in the Bible that seem to be particularly packed with basic information that every Christian should understand and apply to our lives. I would submit that today’s reading (2 Corinthians 4) is one of those.
2 Corinthians 4 is loaded with useful information about our life as followers of Jesus – we are to reject from taking part in shameful deeds and dishonesty, we need to understand that Satan is a real enemy who works to blind those who aren’t followers of Christ, we are to glorify Jesus, not ourselves, because we are fragile (like jars of clay), but we contain a great treasure – the light of Jesus Christ! This light shines through us and shows everyone the power of God. While we will suffer, face troubles, and take our fair share of knock downs, because of the power of Christ in us, we are not crushed, defeated, or destroyed; we are NEVER abandoned by God! Even though we suffer, we will continue to share the Gospel of Jesus helping others to find and follow God because that is what we were created to do. God will continue to empower us to do so – as Paul tells us in verse 15: “All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.”
As Paul closes in verses 16 – 18: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
So how are you applying this scripture to your life? Do you see Jesus as being alive and shining His light through you? As you face challenges great or small (and we all face them great and small), are you remembering that He has never nor will ever abandon you? Are you allowing His light to shine from you in spite of challenges and struggles you are facing so others see that no matter what you are going through, you are living for something greater than yourself? I would encourage you to ask yourself those questions, then go back through and re-read 2 Corinthians 4, and meditate (think, pray, etc) about those words throughout today – ask God to speak to you about how you view Him, seek Him, and rely on Him. As the psalmist tells us in Psalm 139:23: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
Prayer: Lord, please search me and know my heart. Please test me and know my anxious thoughts – my concerns and my struggles. Please speak to me and help me to shine You light. Help me live my life in a way that tells others of You and Your glory. I love You, Lord. Thank You that You make life worth living. I want to serve You and share who You are with everyone around me. In Jesus’ name… Amen.