The reading for today is 2Corinthians 4:1-12, NIV.
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you”.
As Paul writes in this letter to the Church of Corinth, he encourages truth. Not boasting about ourselves but about the glory of God within us. That is what people need to see! Sad to read about the criticism and questioning Paul experienced as he defended his position as an apostle of God.
I think we experience the same thousands of years later. Haven’t you wondered about someone who was so nice, wonderful, and giving that you thought there may be an ulterior motive? Or someone who seemingly had those qualities yet manipulates God’s word to their benefit. Paul teaches that no matter what a person thinks they desire, their light, truth, and accomplishments are ultimately found in the face of Jesus Christ. It is that light that shines through us (crushed vessels), no matter what we experience. Keep your eyes focused on God’s glory and see your way out of the darkness!
Heavenly Father, We thank you for your teachings that lead us to living our lives in your light. Amen.
Ann Byrum Groomes firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: For depression that strikes, that it is lifted by God’s holy light