Over the last 6 months I've turned again and again to 2 Corinthians 4. I don't usually just put the "cut and dry" facts up on my blog, but this chapter has impacted my life and thoughts through these months of change-I hope it will encourage your heart as it has mine. This week while I was reading it once again I noticed how many phrases are repeated throughout the chapter: "We Do Not": -Loose Heart -Preach (or promote) ourselves, but Christ -"Excellency of the power" is NOT of us... our success and achievements are through Him. -Loose Heart (yes this is repeated again!) -Look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are Not seen (eternal)
"Not": -Walking in craftiness nor handling God's Word deceitfully. But manifesting the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (Read the truth, believe the truth, share the truth, tell the truth... but in the end even if it is not received we find comfort and confidence in knowing all things are in the sight of God.) -Not Crushed -Not in despair -Not forsaken -Not destroyed
"We Have": -This ministry (ministers of the gospel to a lost world) -Renounced the hidden things of shame -A treasure (Jesus Christ) in earthen vessels -The same spirit of faith (who raised Jesus and who will also raise us)
"We Are": -Hard pressed on every side (but not crushed... in despair... or destroyed) -Perplexed -Struck Down -Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus (identifying and suffering with him) -Always delivered to death for Jesus' sake (our lives are a "living sacrifice" to Him)
Results & Living Truths: -The light of the glory of Christ by God's command has shone in our hearts, giving us the light of the glory of God. (of Him, not us... God uses broken vessels.) -The excellency of the power is of God not of us (all know that it is God at work, not us because we are weak-perplexed, struck down, etc!) -The Life of Jesus is made manifest in our bodies & mortal flesh (Life is at work!) -We believe that God will raise us from the dead, just as He did Jesus. (No fear of death, true hope is in heaven!) -Our testimony of grace (others seeing God in us) will cause thanksgiving to God to abound. (End result of all true ministry: God is glorified.) -Our outward man continues to perish and wear-But our inward man is renewed every day! -Our "light" affliction (although it may not seem like that at the time) is "but for a moment"! -We Live more focused on the things which are unseen (eternal) because we know from first-hand experience that the things that are seen are temporary, they can change and can be gone in a moment.