2 Cor 4 — The Light of the Gospel, Jars of Clay
2 Cor 5 — Our Heavenly Dwelling, Ministry of Reconciliation
2 Cor 6 — The Temple of the Living God
2 Cor 7 — Paul’s Joy
Thoughts about serving others
This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.
One Reply to “Sep 26 — 2 Corinthians 4-7”
Paul reminds us about “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) who blinds unbelievers. Satan leads a spiritual battle that requires consistently go about the work of spreading the Gospel. We need to declare the Gospel in ways that are easily understood, “By setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (4:2). Our actions, our words, how we carry ourselves in every way needs to declare Christ as Lord and Savior for this dark, dying and temporary world. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts” (4:6). Lord help us to shine the light of your love and your plain truth into this dark world. Even when we feel hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down (4:8-9). For we know this life on earth is temporary. Help us to fight with a sense of urgency to increase the number of people who would come into your presence Lord. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (4:16).
Even though the true battle is fought in spiritual places (unseen), and therefore difficult to fight, we must continue in confidence, and “make it our goal to please him” (5:9). In the end we know this truth: “for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (5:10). This concept of personal responsibility is distinctly distasteful to our present society. The self-centered world in which we live runs away from this notion of accountability, so we need to keep this in perspective as we go about our daily business. “We regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” (5:16-17). I’m not suggesting this is easy, “we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (5:20) — now that’s something to put on the bathroom mirror! Consider these words: God is using us as his ambassadors. Lord help me to remember this each day!
Truthfully, we rarely suffer in the ways Paul outlines in 6:3-12, yet to some degree we can relate, some sleepless nights, sorrow yet rejoicing. We are challenged to be a light in the world without being “yoked together” (6:14) with the world. We must be willing to spread the Gospel with an understanding that we are very different from those who don’t know Christ. “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (7:1). Now that’s a challenge! When confronted by a brother or sister in Christ, when we fall short, I pray we are willing to be convicted, even when it hurts. Paul feels this pain as he relates in 7:8-9 and lets us know, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (7:10). We must not be afraid to confront or be confronted if in both cases we do so from a Godly perspective. That’s not always easy, or perhaps it’s never easy, but we must be willing to take the risk to help each other through this accountability. Lord help me to be willing to be confronted, to hear words that are difficult, from people who are doing everything they can to serve you. And help me to confront those who you call me to confront with words of wisdom from you for their benefit. May Christ be glorified through all of these difficulties and may we be strengthened as a result.