Not ourselves

“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭4:1-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Not ourselves

One of the hardest things is to get out the way of the Gospel. So often, we become the message, the way that we behave, the way that we treat people, the way that we neglect others who are not like us. We forget that we are not perfect, just forgiven.

The Lord Jesus has given us a ministry of reconciliation, the making of peace between fallen humanity and Holy God. We have been made emissaries of the Creator sent to those who have been separated by sin.

The Lord has done a great work in us, creating us to be examples of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Reading II Corinthians chapter four this morning provided a need reminder of whose I am and who I represent. I am not longer the person I was before I was redeemed, caught up in all manner of sin. I am no longer that person given to partiality, but I am one who is a chosen representative of the Savior of the world.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
John 3:16-17 NKJV

It is on us to bring the message of the Gospel in its pure form, not delivered craftily, not hyped, not softened to make it more palatable, but pure and undefiled. The message in itself has the power to save, so the onus is on us to deliver it with none of our impurities corrupting it.

We bring the message to people who have been blinded by the god of this world. In the sinfulness that has so polluted this planet, those who are dwelling on it, get only glimpses of truth. It is our responsibility to bring a clear message so that whatever they receive from us, it is the pure truth.

We prepare ourselves for this great ministry by preparing our hearts for the work. It starts with repentance, with dealing with the sins that have made us ineffective for the ministry that we have been called to do. The Lord provides refinement for those He has called, bring His correction and His direction by way of His word, rubbed deeply into our hearts by way of the Holy Spirit.

He has given us a proving ground in the local church, a body of disparate people who must operate as a spiritual family, being built up and edified for the the role that each must play. In that place, the Lord has exchanged our stony hearts, incapable of agape love and replaced them with hearts that can show the love of Christ.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
I Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV

This divine love is essential if we are to effectively present the Gospel in this fallen world. The people we are to reach have been demolished by sin and deceived by false concepts of love. Their lives have become debased, devoid of any moral underpinnings, and they do not have the words to express their pain. They are left screaming, resorting to violence, fleshly excess, and seeking to resolve the horrible feelings within by the most destructive methods possible.

Most tragic of all, they have become accustomed to the pain.

When we approach preaching Jesus, we are perceived as a threat because we bring the unknown. I remember being in that position, grievously injured by my sin, but comfortable with it. The idea of coming to Jesus and laying it all down was horrifying. I knew nothing of this “life in Christ.”

It is so important for us to preach Jesus and not ourselves, that they see what He has done.

Brothers and sisters, we are made a spectacle in these last days, as all eyes are on us. As we have been made that spectacle, let us us the attention to point to Jesus.

We are being watched, whether we like it or not.

In the midst of the coming days, we will be pressed in on from all sides, and the enemy will be waiting to point out the cracks in our testimonies. But let us not lose heart, for we know the Lord is with us.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
II Corinthians 4:7-10 NKJV

Let us have a mind set on constant confession, keeping all sin accounts short. Let us also be in the Word of God, receiving our daily instruction as how we ought to be. Let us approach each other with brokenness and love, for there are forces with out the church are bent on destruction within.

I heard this song by Sovereign Grace Music as I began writing this morning, as the Lord intervened to set my heart on what He desired for me to write.

FORGIVEN

Lord, forgive us for our pride
When our faith becomes a show
Dressed in righteous deeds to hide
All the stains below
We have judged Your sons and daughters
For the sin that is our own
May we now forgive each other
And lay down our stones

CHORUS
Forgiven, forgiven
Through the blood of Christ
We are forgiven
-Songwriter(s): Brittany Born, Kate DeGraide, Rebecca Elliott

THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!

#prayfortheharvest

#prayforthepersecuted

#prayforthegospeltospreadeverywhere

https://www.allaboutgod.com/the-roman-road.htm

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