2 Corinthians 4:1-6
This is why we don’t get discouraged, given that we received this ministry in the same way that we received God’s mercy. Instead, we reject secrecy and shameful actions. We don’t use deception, and we don’t tamper with God’s word. Instead, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God by the public announcement of the truth. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are on the road to destruction. The god of this age has blinded the minds of those who don’t have faith so they couldn’t see the light of the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory. Christ is the image of God. We don’t preach about ourselves. Instead, we preach about Jesus Christ as Lord, and we describe ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. God said that light should shine out of the darkness. He is the same one who shone in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.
When we truly consider the gospel, it is difficult for us to conceive. It is often in our minds unbelievable. It is at the very least incredible!
Think for a moment about the incredible incarnation. We marvel at the Christmas story. How important was and is mankind that God would send his only begotten Son, Jesus. It’s truly incredible. Just to recognize that today’s incarnational hope rests in each of us is incredible.
Secondly, consider the incredible Christian experience. Think about the experience of Paul on the road to Damascus. Think about the experience of Zacchaeus. Think about your own experience of Jesus. Why should we be so endowed? If God knows me so well, why would he love me? It’s an incredible experience.
Thirdly, consider the incredible Christian Witness. Paul spoke of the foolishness of preaching. The only factor that trumps that foolishness is the presence of God. When God is in our life, God changes hearts, lives and souls. That’s the knowledge that God promises us. This transformational aspect of our lives is our endowment in Christ. When a congregation fully embraces these incredible truths, then excellence describes, not the manner in which we do ministry, but excellence describes who we are in Jesus.
O God, walk with us in this incredible journey. Help us to experience the incarnational truth and share it with others.
In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
The Rev. Jim Beaty
Pulaski District Superintendent, Tennessee Conference