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For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
For further study - II Corinthians 4:1-18
Each day as I come to my time in the Word of God, devotionally, I am continually amazed at how practical the Bible is for my every day experience of living out my Christianity in the days in which we live.
Today's passage for our devotional is no exception. I won't be able to elaborate on everything in our passage, but let me challenge you to spend time in this passage and "dig deeper" for the "treasure" in His Word.
Paul begins this chapter with the fact that his ministry compels him to not be dishonest even in secret, verse 2. The apostle sets the standard for every person in ministry, and I must remind you that each of us do have a ministry in this life, thus we must follow the standard that Paul sets for us, until He calls us home.
We must walk honest, not in craftiness, not handling the Word of God deceitfully, as related to us in verse 2. Verses 3 and 4 reveal how the "god of this world," that would be Satan, is today blinding the minds of the lost people of our world to the "gospel".
The "gospel", I Corinthians 15:1-5, is the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This "gospel" is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth", Romans 1:16.
Paul exhorts us to not allow the "gospel" to be hid from the lost. That "gospel" is being hid today from lost people by false teachers, pseudo-ministries and unresolved sin.
I mention "pseudo" or "false ministry" which would be a ministry that allows the "things of this world" to direct how we perform ministry in the "church". Many churches are moving in that direction in order to build a "large" church. The "things of this world" distract from the "purity" of the "gospel" and dilutes the "gospel" so that it is of none effect.
Let me skip over some great "meat" in this passage, some of the "treasure" that you can dig out for yourself in verses 6-16.
The last two verses of our devotional passage for today, verses 17-18, look to the future. They speak of the "hard times" we may be facing today and into the future. Paul encourages us to look at these times as "light afflictions", verse 17, which are but for a moment.
Paul even mentions that the "light afflictions" are the "training ground" preparing us for the future. Paul concludes with a word of encouragement for the church at Corinth and for those of us in churches, worldwide, today.
Verse 18 says, don't look on the things of today, "things seen", because they are "temporal", for a short time. We should "look upon those things not seen", they are eternal.
See how practical the Word of God, and prophecy are for our daily lives. The current events of this world, our afflictions for today, must not be our focus, we must focus on the "things to come", as revealed in God's prophetic Word, the "hope for tomorrow".
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to keep my focus not on the things of this world but instead on the truths of Your Word as I move through these days and into the future.
1Thessalonians 5:16 -18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV
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