Start with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)
Read Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
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.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
In this passage Paul explains his ministry, which is also ours. The sharing of the Gospel is a precious gift that God places in fragile humans and Paul refers to as jars of clay. He admits that he (and we) face many trials and tribulations which may harm us. But they do not break us because we carry Jesus within us due to our faith in that gospel. Do not lose heart from what you go through! Yes, outwardly we will waste away but inwardly we are renewed day by day.
Questions to Ponder:
What issues are you facing that test your faith? Are you relying on God for these or are your trying to solve them in your own power?
Oh Father in heaven, thank you for entrusting me with your gospel that resides within me. Teach me to share the hope of Christ with those who have not heard or do not follow your word. Help me to live a life that better demonstrates my faith in you. Whatever troubles I may face, make me ever mindful of your love for me. That I remember that these are temporary problems in the spectrum of your eternal light. Help to keep my eyes fixed not on what is seen but what is unseen. Amen.
End with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)