2 Corinthians 4
2 Corinthians 4

2 Corinthians 4

2 Corinthians 4:1-18

1  Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

2  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.

3  But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

4  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.

5  For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

6  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.

7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

8  We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—

10  always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

11  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

12  So then death is working in us, but life in you.

13  And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED AND THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe and therefore speak,

14  knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

15  For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

16  Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

18  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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8 months ago

The ministry the Spirit has given us is to carry and share the transforming glory of God effectively. As awesome as this is, though, it is completely dependent on the mercy and grace of God, without any reliance on our vessels and the challenges they may endure. The heart may be a written testament of God’s glory, but the body is yet encountering life with all of its ups and downs. Rather than being moved at all by what we encounter, then, there is an opportunity to be encouraged in the greatest of difficulties, knowing that what we can physically see has no bearing on how effectively the glory is being shared. With every discomfort there can be assurance that something we can’t see is working to affect the Spirit’s will on the body as a whole. We don’t give up because of what we’re going through, knowing that God is using all things to accomplish and complete His will.

Walking in this New Life in Christ requires an adjustment of motive and purpose from self-gratification and ease to ensuring that others are blessed in experiencing the glory. This focus on others disables circumstances’ power to upend our heart toward God and its ability to know and share that glory. Them prospering in His presence may require our endurance of hardship without taking on any bitterness or discouragement. With every temporal weight the world lays on us can come growing confidence in the Spirit’s movements to bless the body with the much greater eternal impact of God’s glory. No threat to the vessel will diminish its true purpose and effect as the heart is kept in this focus the raging of storms.

8 months ago

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